The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Sail \Sail\, n. [OE. seil, AS. segel, segl; akin to D. zeil,
OHG. segal, G. & Sw. segel, Icel. segl, Dan. seil. [root]
1. An extent of canvas or other fabric by means of which the
wind is made serviceable as a power for propelling vessels
through the water.
Behoves him now both sail and oar. --Milton.
2. Anything resembling a sail, or regarded as a sail.
3. A wing; a van. [Poetic]
Like an eagle soaring
To weather his broad sails. --Spenser.
4. The extended surface of the arm of a windmill.
5. A sailing vessel; a vessel of any kind; a craft.
Note: In this sense, the plural has usually the same form as
the singular; as, twenty sail were in sight.
6. A passage by a sailing vessel; a journey or excursion upon
Note: Sails are of two general kinds, fore-and-aft sails,
and square sails. Square sails are always bent to
yards, with their foot lying across the line of the
vessel. Fore-and-aft sails are set upon stays or gaffs
with their foot in line with the keel. A fore-and-aft
sail is triangular, or quadrilateral with the after
leech longer than the fore leech. Square sails are
quadrilateral, but not necessarily square. See Phrases
under Fore, a., and Square, a.; also, Bark,
Brig, Schooner, Ship, Stay.
Sail burton (Naut.), a purchase for hoisting sails aloft
Sail fluke (Zool.), the whiff.
Sail hook, a small hook used in making sails, to hold the
Sail loft, a loft or room where sails are cut out and made.
Sail room (Naut.), a room in a vessel where sails are
stowed when not in use.
Sail yard (Naut.), the yard or spar on which a sail is
Shoulder-of-mutton sail (Naut.), a triangular sail of
peculiar form. It is chiefly used to set on a boat's mast.
To crowd sail. (Naut.) See under Crowd.
To loose sails (Naut.), to unfurl or spread sails.
To make sail (Naut.), to extend an additional quantity of
To set a sail (Naut.), to extend or spread a sail to the
To set sail (Naut.), to unfurl or spread the sails; hence,
to begin a voyage.
To shorten sail (Naut.), to reduce the extent of sail, or
take in a part.
To strike sail (Naut.), to lower the sails suddenly, as in
saluting, or in sudden gusts of wind; hence, to
acknowledge inferiority; to abate pretension.
Under sail, having the sails spread.