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.
Energysome similar piece or apparatus, as the part of an arm that catches the wind on a windmill.
Naval Termsa voyage or excursion, esp. in a sailing vessel:They went for a sail around the island.
Nautical, Naval Termssails for a vessel or vessels collectively.
(cap.) [Astron.]the constellation Vela.
Nautical, Naval Termsin sail, with the sails set.
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.
Nautical, Naval Terms, Idiomsset sail, to start a sea voyage:We set sail at midnight forNantucket.
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.
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.
Nautical, Naval Termsto move along or travel over water:steamships sailing to Lisbon.
Nautical, Naval Terms, Sportto manage a sailboat, esp. for sport.
Nautical, Naval Termsto begin a journey by water:We are sailing at dawn.
to move along in a manner suggestive of a sailing vessel:caravans sailing along.
to move along in a stately, effortless way:to sail into a room.
to sail upon, over, or through:to sail the seven seas.
Nautical, Naval Termsto navigate (a vessel).
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.
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