Definition of trysail in US English:



  • A small, strong fore-and-aft sail set on the mast of a sailing vessel in heavy weather.

    • ‘She ran on a 700-horsepower steam engine and had four jury masts on which four trysails and a jib could be set for emergencies.’
    • ‘There was also a small square sail which would be hoisted to a yard on the foremast and two trysails to be hoisted on the jigger.’
    • ‘The sailors hoisted the trysails a little way, tightened the sheets, fixed bunts to the sail, and strengthened the tackle and the stop of the lateen yard, set two men to watch at each fall and bade them look out for squalls.’
    • ‘A seemingly simple sail to make, in fact, the storm trysail presents unique challenges, particularly in the geometry and deployment.’
    • ‘During their two-week passage, the ships occasionally gained an extra knot or two by hoisting trysails to catch prevailing zephyrs.’