topsail

noun
top·​sail | \ ˈtäp-ˌsāl How to pronounce topsail (audio) , -səl\
variants: or less commonly tops'l \ ˈtäp-​səl How to pronounce tops'l (audio) \

Definition of topsail

1 : the sail next above the lowermost sail on a mast in a square-rigged ship
2 : the sail set above and sometimes on the gaff in a fore-and-aft rigged ship

Examples of topsail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But nautical history buffs – and others – can sail on a replica of this 102-foot-long, square-rigged topsail sloop from its home at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven out into Lake Michigan until the end of September. Brian E. Clark, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tall ship Friends Good Will, lighthouses highlight visit to southwest Michigan," 22 June 2018 Most people today associate billowing topsails with pirates. Jennifer Larino, NOLA.com, "Meet the captains sailing tall ships into New Orleans in April," 6 Mar. 2018 Moreland, who has more than 30 years experience sailing topsail schooners, brigantines, brigs and barques, as well as five world voyages under his belt, said the Picton Castle will be hosting a range of school groups on the vessel. Jennifer Larino, NOLA.com, "Meet the captains sailing tall ships into New Orleans in April," 6 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'topsail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of topsail

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about topsail

Statistics for topsail

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for topsail

The first known use of topsail was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for topsail

topsail

noun
top·​sail | \ ˈtäp-ˌsāl How to pronounce topsail (audio) , -səl\

Kids Definition of topsail

1 : the sail next above the lowest sail on a mast in a square-rigged ship
2 : the sail above the large sail on a mast in a ship with a fore-and-aft rig

More from Merriam-Webster on topsail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with topsail

Comments on topsail

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

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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