sail

Listen:
 [ˈseɪl]


For the noun: sail
Plural form: sail

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
sail /seɪl/USA pronunciation   n. 
    [countable]
  1. Nautical, Naval Termsa piece of canvas on a ship to catch the wind and propel the vessel:The ship has three sails.
  2. Energya similar apparatus, as on a windmill.
  3. Naval Termsa voyage esp. in a vessel with sails.

v. 
  1. Nautical, Naval Terms (of a ship or boat) to travel on water:[no object]The ship sailed to Alaska.
  2. [+ object]
    • to travel in a ship upon, over, or through (water):to sail the seven seas.
    • to take or pilot (a vessel) upon, over, or through water:They sailed the ship to Alaska.
  3. Nautical, Naval Terms, Sportto manage (a sailboat), esp. for sport: [no object]She likes to sail on weekends.[+ object]sailed their boat out into the harbor.
  4. Nautical, Naval Terms to begin a journey by water:[no object]We sail at dawn.
  5. to move along like a sailing vessel:[no object]to sail into a room.
  6. sail into, [+ into + object] to attack strongly;
    assail:He sailed into our ideas for reorganization.
Idioms
  1. Nautical, Naval Terms, Idiomsset sail, to start a voyage:We set sail at daybreak.


WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
sail  (sāl),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Nautical, Naval Termsan area of canvas or other fabric extended to the wind in such a way as to transmit the force of the wind to an assemblage of spars and rigging mounted firmly on a hull, raft, iceboat, etc., so as to drive it along.
  2. Energysome similar piece or apparatus, as the part of an arm that catches the wind on a windmill.
  3. Naval Termsa voyage or excursion, esp. in a sailing vessel:They went for a sail around the island.
  4. Nautical, Naval Termsa sailing vessel or ship.
  5. Nautical, Naval Termssailing vessels collectively:The fleet numbered 30 sail.
  6. Nautical, Naval Termssails for a vessel or vessels collectively.
  7. (cap.) [Astron.]the constellation Vela.
  8. Nautical, Naval Termsin sail, with the sails set.
  9. Naval Termsmake sail, [Naut.]
    • , Naval Termsto set the sail or sails of a boat or increase the amount of sail already set.
    • , Naval Termsto set out on a voyage:Make sail for the Leeward Islands.
  10. Nautical, Naval Terms, Idiomsset sail, to start a sea voyage:We set sail at midnight forNantucket.
  11. Idioms, Informal Termstrim one's sails, [Informal.]to cut expenses;
    economize:We're going to have to trim our sails if we stay in business.
  12. Nautical, Naval Terms, Idiomsunder sail, with sails set;
    in motion;
    sailing:It was good to be under sail in the brisk wind and under the warm sun.

v.i. 
  1. Nautical, Naval Termsto move along or travel over water:steamships sailing to Lisbon.
  2. Nautical, Naval Terms, Sportto manage a sailboat, esp. for sport.
  3. Nautical, Naval Termsto begin a journey by water:We are sailing at dawn.
  4. to move along in a manner suggestive of a sailing vessel:caravans sailing along.
  5. to move along in a stately, effortless way:to sail into a room.

v.t. 
  1. to sail upon, over, or through:to sail the seven seas.
  2. Nautical, Naval Termsto navigate (a vessel).
  3. Informal Termssail in or  into: 
    • to go vigorously into action;
      begin to act;
      attack.
    • to attack verbally:He would sail into his staff when work was going badly.
saila•ble, adj. 
sailless, adj. 
  • bef. 900; (noun, nominal) Middle English sail(e), seille, Old English segl; cognate with German Segel, Old Norse segl; (verb, verbal) Middle English seillen, saylen, Old English siglan, seglian; cognate with Dutch zeilen, Old Norse sigla


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

sail /seɪl/ n
  1. an area of fabric, usually Terylene or nylon (formerly canvas), with fittings for holding it in any suitable position to catch the wind, used for propelling certain kinds of vessels, esp over water
  2. a voyage on such a vessel: a sail down the river
  3. a vessel with sails or such vessels collectively: to travel by sail, we raised seven sail in the northeast
  4. a ship's sails collectively
  5. something resembling a sail in shape, position, or function, such as the part of a windmill that is turned by the wind or the part of a Portuguese man-of-war that projects above the water
  6. in sailhaving the sail set
  7. make sailto run up the sail or to run up more sail
  8. to begin a voyage
  9. set sailto embark on a voyage by ship
  10. to hoist sail
  11. under sailwith sail hoisted
  12. under way
vb (mainly intr)
  1. to travel in a boat or ship: we sailed to Le Havre
  2. to begin a voyage; set sail: we sail at 5 o'clock
  3. (of a vessel) to move over the water: the liner is sailing to the Caribbean
  4. (transitive) to manoeuvre or navigate a vessel: he sailed the schooner up the channel
  5. (transitive) to sail over: she sailed the Atlantic single-handed
  6. often followed by over, through, etc: to move fast or effortlessly: we sailed through customs, the ball sailed over the fence
  7. to move along smoothly; glide
  8. often followed by in or into: informal to begin (something) with vigour
  9. to make an attack (on) violently with words or physical force
Etymology: Old English segl; related to Old Frisian seil, Old Norse segl, German Segel

ˈsailable adj ˈsailless adj



'sail' also found in these entries:
Collocations: the [boat's, ship's, yacht's] sail, the sails of the [boat], the [ship] has [three] sails, more...

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