What does sail mean?

Definitions for sailseɪl

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word sail.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. sail, canvas, canvass, sheet(noun)

    a large piece of fabric (usually canvas fabric) by means of which wind is used to propel a sailing vessel

  2. cruise, sail(noun)

    an ocean trip taken for pleasure

  3. sail(verb)

    any structure that resembles a sail

  4. sail(verb)

    traverse or travel on (a body of water)

    "We sailed the Atlantic"; "He sailed the Pacific all alone"

  5. sweep, sail(verb)

    move with sweeping, effortless, gliding motions

    "The diva swept into the room"; "Shreds of paper sailed through the air"; "The searchlights swept across the sky"

  6. sail(verb)

    travel on water propelled by wind

    "I love sailing, especially on the open sea"; "the ship sails on"

  7. voyage, sail, navigate(verb)

    travel on water propelled by wind or by other means

    "The QE2 will sail to Southampton tomorrow"

Webster Dictionary

  1. Sail(noun)

    an extent of canvas or other fabric by means of which the wind is made serviceable as a power for propelling vessels through the water

  2. Sail(noun)

    anything resembling a sail, or regarded as a sail

  3. Sail(noun)

    a wing; a van

  4. Sail(noun)

    the extended surface of the arm of a windmill

  5. Sail(noun)

    a sailing vessel; a vessel of any kind; a craft

  6. Sail(noun)

    a passage by a sailing vessel; a journey or excursion upon the water

  7. Sail(noun)

    to be impelled or driven forward by the action of wind upon sails, as a ship on water; to be impelled on a body of water by the action of steam or other power

  8. Sail(noun)

    to move through or on the water; to swim, as a fish or a water fowl

  9. Sail(noun)

    to be conveyed in a vessel on water; to pass by water; as, they sailed from London to Canton

  10. Sail(noun)

    to set sail; to begin a voyage

  11. Sail(noun)

    to move smoothly through the air; to glide through the air without apparent exertion, as a bird

  12. Sail(verb)

    to pass or move upon, as in a ship, by means of sails; hence, to move or journey upon (the water) by means of steam or other force

  13. Sail(verb)

    to fly through; to glide or move smoothly through

  14. Sail(verb)

    to direct or manage the motion of, as a vessel; as, to sail one's own ship

  15. Origin: [OE. seil, AS. segel, segl; akin to D. zeil, OHG. segal, G. & Sw. segel, Icel. segl, Dan. seil. 153.]


  1. Sail

    A sail is a surface, typically made of fabric and supported by a mast, whose purpose is to propel a sailing vessel. Occasionally sails may also be found on land vehicles.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Sail

    sāl, n. a sheet of canvas, &c., spread to catch the wind, by which a ship is driven forward: a ship or ships: a trip in a vessel: a fleet: arm of a windmill: speed: a journey.—v.i. to be moved by sails: to go by water: to begin a voyage: to glide or float smoothly along.—v.t. to navigate: to pass in a ship: to fly through.—adj. Sail′able, navigable.—n. Sail′-boat, a boat propelled by a sail.—adjs. Sail′-borne; Sail′-broad (Milt.), broad or spreading like a sail.—n. Sail′-cloth, a strong cloth for sails.—adj. Sailed, having sails set.—ns. Sail′er, a sailor: a boat or ship with respect to its mode of sailing, or its speed; Sail′-fish, the basking shark: the quill-back; Sail′-fluke, the whiff; Sail′-hoop, a mast-hoop; Sail′ing, act of sailing: motion of a vessel on water: act of directing a ship's course: the term applied to the different ways in which the path of a ship at sea, and the variations of its geographical position, are represented on paper, as great circle sailing, Mercator's sailing, middle latitude sailing, oblique sailing, parallel sailing, plane sailing; Sail′ing-ice, an ice-pack through which a sailing-vessel can force her way.—n.pl. Sail′ing-instruc′tions, written directions by the officer of a convoy to the masters of ships under his care.—n. Sail′ing-mas′ter, a former name for the navigating officer of a war-ship.—adj. Sail′less, destitute of sails.—ns. Sail′-liz′ard, a large lizard having a crested tail; Sail′-loft, a loft where sails are cut out and made; Sail′-māk′er, a maker of sails: in the United States navy, an officer who takes charge of the sails; Sail′or, one who sails in or navigates a ship: a seaman; Sail′or-fish, a sword-fish; Sail′or-man, a seaman; Sail′or-plant, the strawberry geranium; Sail′or's-choice, the pin-fish: the pig-fish; Sail′or's-purse, an egg-pouch of rays and sharks; Sail′-room, a room in a vessel where sails are stowed.—adj. Sail′y, like a sail.—n. Sail′-yard, the yard on which sails are extended.—n.pl. Stay′-sails, triangular sails, suspended on the ropes which stay the masts upon the foresides—from the jib-boom, bowsprit, and deck in the case of the foremast, and from the deck in the case of the mainmast.—Sail close to the wind, to run great risk; Sailors' Home, an institution where sailors may lodge, or aged and infirm sailors be permanently cared for.—After sail, the sails carried on the mainmast and mizzen-mast; Fore-and-aft sails, those set parallel to the keel of a ship, as opp. to Square sails, those set across the ship; Full Sail, with all sails set; Make sail, to spread more canvas, in sailing; Set sail, to spread the sails, t

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. SAIL

    1. The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab. An important site in the early development of LISP; with the MIT AI Lab, BBN, CMU, XEROX PARC, and the Unix community, one of the major wellsprings of technical innovation and hacker-culture traditions (see the WAITS entry for details). The SAIL machines were shut down in late May 1990, scant weeks after the MIT AI Lab's ITS cluster was officially decommissioned. 2. The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Language used at SAIL (sense 1). It was an Algol-60 derivative with a coroutining facility and some new data types intended for building search trees and association lists.

Suggested Resources

  1. SAIL

    What does SAIL stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the SAIL acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sail' in Nouns Frequency: #2740

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'sail' in Verbs Frequency: #601

Anagrams for sail »

  1. Ails

  2. Isla

  3. Lais

  4. Lias

  5. Lisa

  6. Sial


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of sail in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of sail in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. David Hare:

    Thought is the wind and knowledge the sail.

  2. Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay:

    Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor.

  3. William Penn:

    Less judgment than wit is more sail than ballast.

  4. Chinese Proverb:

    Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind.

  5. Justin Gatlin:

    I have cut that emotional rope off and let that ship sail.

Images & Illustrations of sail

  1. sailsailsail

Translations for sail

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"sail." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 25 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/sail>.

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