sail close to the wind

Definition of sail close to the wind

British

  1. :  to do something that is dangerous or that may be illegal or dishonest The company was sailing close to the wind, but it's not clear if they were actually breaking the law.

Word by Word Definitions

sailplay
  1. :  an extent of fabric (such as canvas) by means of which wind is used to propel a ship through water

    :  the sails of a ship

    :  a ship equipped with sails

  1. :  to travel on water in a ship

    :  yacht

    :  to travel on water by the action of wind upon sails or by other means

closeplay
  1. :  to move so as to bar passage through something

    :  to block against entry or passage

    :  to deny access to

  1. :  a coming or bringing to a conclusion

    :  a conclusion or end in time or existence :  cessation

    :  the concluding passage (as of a speech or play)

  1. :  an enclosed area

    :  the precinct (see precinct 2a) of a cathedral

    :  a narrow passage leading from a street to a court and the houses within or to the common stairway of tenements

  1. :  having no openings :  closed

    :  confined or carefully guarded

    :  high

  1. :  in a close position or manner

windplay
  1. :  a natural movement of air of any velocity

    :  the earth's air or the gas surrounding a planet in natural motion horizontally

    :  an artificially produced movement of air

  1. :  to detect or follow by scent

    :  to expose to the air or wind :  dry by exposing to air

    :  to make short of breath

  1. :  to cause (something, such as a horn) to sound by blowing :  blow

    :  to sound (a call or note) on a horn

    :  to produce a sound on a horn

  1. :  weave

    :  entangle, involve

    :  to introduce sinuously or stealthily :  insinuate

  1. :  a mechanism (such as a winch) for winding

    :  an act of winding :  the state of being wound

    :  coil, turn


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sail close to the wind? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a lively discussion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!