Definition of make sail in US English:

make sail


  • 1Spread a sail or sails.

    • ‘One never leaves the safety of the cockpit when making sail, reefing, or stowing sails.’
    • ‘As soon as the natives retired ashore, we made sail and spent our time standing off and on.’
    • ‘Stepping their masts and making sail, side by side, the four boats of the Daydream forged steadily ahead.’
    • ‘To make sail is to spread an additional quantity of sail, so as to increase the ship's velocity.’
    • ‘If called on deck for the purpose of shortening or making sail they should come at once.’
    1. 1.1 Start a voyage.
      • ‘The wind began to stir, so it was time to up anchor and make sail before the flood would impede my exit from the Roach and make its way up the Crouch.’
      • ‘After she had been on board about an hour, a breeze springing up, we weighed anchor and made sail.’
      • ‘At half-past twelve, when the two frigates were about three miles apart, the Pique filled her yards and made sail towards the Blanche, which shortly after had brought-to the schooner.’
      • ‘On the twenty-first, the weather being unusually pleasant, we again made sail to the southward, with the resolution of penetrating in that course as far as possible.’
      • ‘We being very short of water, made sail at 6 p.m. on the 25th and took our departure from that place for Texas.’
      • ‘The death was a shock to all on board and it was a subdued company that made sail for Bermuda.’
      • ‘The latter immediately made sail in chase, and before dark ascertained that the strangers were enemies.’
      • ‘Having succeeded in this attempt, we made sail for the stockade of the other chief, and arrived there that evening.’
      • ‘As Iberville's ships sailed west, Arriola left Francisco Martinez in command and made sail for Mexico.’
      • ‘He had decided to make sail for that point where they had last seen Dolphin.’