One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The second section of a square-rigged sailing ship's mast, immediately above the lower mast.
spar, boom, yard, gaff, foremast, mainmast, mizzenmast, mizzen, royal mastView synonyms
- ‘Bellerophon's main topmast had been shot away and her mizzen topmast was in a precarious state.’
- ‘Without a doubt the Japanese clearly recorded it, and the water depth where it sank was so shallow that the topmast of the ship provided refuge for some of the survivors just after the sinking.’
- ‘On Saturday afternoons in the summer Ganges boys with spare time were allowed to climb the mast, and on one day he and a mate were at the crossjack - the highest point on the mast, except for the topmast and its notorious button.’
- ‘It was a perfect replica of a Caribbean pirate vessel, right down to the Jolly Roger flying from the topmast.’
- ‘The delinquent middie was sent to the ‘crows nest’ on the top of the main part of a mast; that is, below the topmast, which was a short mast lashed to the lower mast.’
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