Definition of spritsail in English:



  • 1A sail extended by a sprit.

    • ‘She was given a tall mizzen mast, with a large gaff sail, well forward of the wheel and a smaller spritsail.’
    • ‘Three sails are carried on the bowsprit along with the spritsail that hangs from the spritsail yard.’
    • ‘It is also fitted with two small masts rigged with spritsails, a sailing rig that is still used by Thames sailing barges today.’
    • ‘The spritsail flapped emptily and the boat righted to an even keel, causing the two men swiftly to change position.’
    • ‘Sails named for parts of the ship include gaff sails, jib-headed sails, spritsails, and lateen and lugsails.’
    1. 1.1historical A sail extended by a yard set under a ship's bowsprit.
      • ‘Most of the small coastal vessels have spritsails which was the commonest rig for small vessels at this period.’
      • ‘During the reign of Henry the Eighth, ships with two and three masts carried main and top sails, lateen mizzen sails and spritsails set under the bowsprit.’
      • ‘By the beginning years of the 19th century the dolphin-striker and martingale were invented, which provided a permanent truss but interfered with the spritsail, which became obsolete.’
      • ‘The spritsail was a simple triangular sail, whose leading edge was fastened to the mast by a rope.’