One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small spar reaching diagonally from a mast to the upper outer corner of a sail.
- ‘Using a longer spar, and attaching it lower down the mast, can allow the sail to be nearly rectangular, the top-front corner being held by the mast alone, and the top-rear by the spar or sprit alone.’
- ‘When the smoke cleared, the Indy was nearly sprit to sprit with the Spanish Frigate.’
Old English sprēot ‘(punting) pole’; related to sprout.
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