Definition of gybe in English:


(US jibe)


[NO OBJECT]Sailing
  • 1 Change course by swinging the sail across a following wind.

    • ‘Many an hour was spent tacking, jibing and splicing the main brace with the occasional capsize as well.’
    • ‘On the way down, Andy teaches us how to jibe, or turn away from the wind.’
    • ‘We are currently on a port gybe and will probably have to gybe twice more before we can get lined up for the final dash to the finish.’
    • ‘On the second day, we practiced jibing, or passing the boat's backside through the wind.’
    • ‘The boat is equipped with a refrigerator, a freezer, and a microwave, so the women can zap their meals between jibing, tacking, and swabbing decks.’
    1. 1.1[with object] Swing (a sail or boom) across a following wind.
      • ‘For starters it doesn't fly from a spinnaker pole, which makes setting and jibing the sail simple.’
      • ‘Due to the fact that you are gybing the sail this way you will need to pull hard and fast on the new leeward sheet to trim the sail in on the new tack and course’
    2. 1.2 (of a sail or boom) swing or be swung across a following wind.
      • ‘Careful control of the boom and mainsail is required when jibing in order to prevent a violent motion of the boom when it switches sides.’
      • ‘When the breeze picked up to 35 kts we dropped the spinnaker, gybed, set the headsail and started heading back inshore to catch the cold front moving in from the south-west.’


  • An act or instance of gybing.

    • ‘During the race, Tom Droescher, working as the spinnaker trimmer, was swept overboard during a jibe and landed on his back in the 45-degree waters of Puget Sound.’
    • ‘Even way back then the great steel hulks we slid past had their quota of sectarian jibes daubed crudely on the ferrous red ship plates.’
    • ‘The incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy, occurred last spring during a regional tune-up race when the Beneteau, Epic, had an accidental gybe and broached in a 34-knot gust.’
    • ‘With a foul bottom we're only making 5 knots and I can't turn quickly enough, so we do a flying gybe, break a spreader on the main, almost throw the guests overboard, lose some cushions, douse sails, and tuck into Lameshur Bay, St. John.’


Late 17th century: from obsolete Dutch gijben.