Definition of lateen in English:


(also lateen sail)


  • A triangular sail on a long yard at an angle of 45° to the mast.

    • ‘In fact, of course, the Arabs' contributions to the world have been crucial, from algebra to the lateen sail, from Sufi spirituality to key discoveries in astronomy.’
    • ‘Also, the fore-and-aft sail on the mizzenmast, originally a triangular lateen sail, was changed to accommodate the more modern rig.’
    • ‘An old family friend had hooked a lateen sail while fishing at a local creek.’
    • ‘She sported a giant lateen - that's triangular - sail of red and white stripes with her big Raven crest, along with a sprit sail.’
    • ‘Bigger ships known as carracks, mixing square and lateen sails and weighing up to 1000 tons, could sail further and carry more merchandise than ever before.’
    • ‘Then came the boat with what was known as a lateen sail which could be adjusted to catch the wind.’


Mid 16th century: from French (voile) Latine ‘Latin (sail)’, so named because it was common in the Mediterranean.