Definition of stunsail in English:


(also stuns'l)


  • another term for studdingsail
    • ‘Today we are basking in the hot, spring sun in the South Pacific, with a light breeze and stuns'ls set; tomorrow we could be in a full-blown gale and 35-foot seas, and cyclone season isn't far off.’
    • ‘Well by the sounds of it it's perfectly fine without the stunsails, so I think I'll leave them out after all.’
    • ‘But when the decline in sailing-ship freights set in, and crews were reduced in number, stunsails were discontinued, and they will now never be seen again.’
    • ‘The clipper ship Golden State on the painting has five stunsails on her foremast.’
    • ‘Most of Victory's stunsails have been cut away, but it was her stunsail booms that became entangled with the rigging of the Redoubtable when she put her helm to port and ran onto her.’
    • ‘A special stuns'l was fitted to the spanker: it was called the ‘ringtail.’’
    • ‘Participants must know the stunsail tack bend and bowline knots before coming to this lesson.’
    • ‘After half a day's work, the stunsails have been set.’
    • ‘This is a contemporary oil painting of the ship under full sail with stunsails set.’
    • ‘There is one brief but awesome shot of her with all the stuns'ls set, which was breath taking, for those who knew what they were seeing.’
    • ‘The stately white-winged square rigger, stuns'ls set, top-gallant flying, every foot of canvas drawing, reeling off the knots before the steady trades, she is an epic.’
    • ‘She was very heavily sparred, with a skysail on the main and stunsail booms aloft.’
    • ‘Walking the deck with quick, side-lunging strides, Ahab commanded the t'gallant sails and royals to be set, and every stunsail spread.’
    • ‘This model shows the brig, as it appeared under British colors, with stunsails set, sailing past Eddystone Light in 1809.’
    • ‘After about eight hours, the stunsail had to come in as the wind changed and dropped out to less than 4 knots.’
    • ‘This seems more like a light weather sail, similar in principle to the studding-sail (stuns'l) of square rig.’
    • ‘Norwegian version seems to be the port, broadside view showing her carrying 3 squaresails and 2 stuns'ls.’
    • ‘She is moving rapidly, with assist from the stuns'ls wide on each wooden yard.’
    • ‘Then I got into windjammers and it was getting a clipper at full chat with stuns'ls to the royals to look right that got me aware of perspective.’
    • ‘Our noble and gallant ship with her 15,000 yards of canvas and stunsails in addition is ploughing the main most majestically.’


Mid 18th century: contraction.