One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person whose job it is to work as a member of the crew of a commercial or naval ship or boat, especially one who is below the rank of officer.
seaman, seafarer, seafaring man, marinerView synonyms
- ‘Ships were dressed with flags and sailors climbed the rigging or stood on decks, caps in hand, to cheer the Queen.’
- ‘He looked ahead and a saw a large crowd of sailors gathering around a docked ship.’
- ‘All the boats are captained by professional sailors but the rest of the crew are amateurs.’
- ‘The sailors on the patrol boat thought I was going to fall, so grabbed me by my clothes.’
- ‘As dawn broke, with the master's consent, sailors from the USS Bunker Hill boarded the vessel.’
- 1.1usually with adjective or noun modifier A person who goes sailing as a sport or recreation.‘she was a keen sailor’
- ‘He was a member of the sailing club and stalwart sailor and racer who lost his life at sea last year.’
- ‘Teddy had always been a keen and intrepid sailor, and after retiring he went to live in St Mawes where he had first learned to sail as a boy.’
- ‘She is also a keen sailor, who is on track for her yacht master's certificate.’
- ‘I'd picked up that he was an expert sailor of dinghies and had twice won something called the Prince of Wales Cup.’
- ‘She had wide interests, was a keen dinghy sailor and took an active part in youth welfare.’
- 1.2a good/bad sailor A person who rarely (or often) becomes sick at sea in rough weather.
- ‘I'm not a good sailor and am bringing along a good supply of patches, dramamine, and ginger pills; sounds like they'll be essential since we'll embark from Ushuaia. Do you have any other suggestions for minimizing seasickness?’
- ‘Hamnavoe is a great ship, I'm not a good sailor, but I have never been sick on it yet even in rough weather, which was not the case with the Ola.’
Mid 17th century: variant of obsolete sailer.
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