Definition of square sail in US English:

square sail

noun

  • A four-cornered sail supported by a yard attached to a mast.

    • ‘Such ships were robustly built with stout planking secured to massive framing timbers, with a single mast possibly rigged with a square sail.’
    • ‘When furled, the square sails vanished inside the booms, although the 15 fore-and-aft sails were handled like any modern sail-boat's roller-furling jib.’
    • ‘They had a good stretch of river ahead to themselves, only a few fishing canoes in sight, and Telli soon gave in to temptation and lowered the spar at the bottom of the square sail another yard.’
    • ‘The argument is that a three-masted ship had three yards on each mast for the square sails, making nine in all.’
    • ‘At first when sails triumphed over oars, a large square sail was rigged on the mainmast while two smaller sails fore and aft gave the ship maneuverability.’

Pronunciation

square sail

/skwer sāl/