synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of sail in English

English Online Dictionary. What means sail‎? What does sail mean?



  • IPA(key): /seɪl/, [seɪ̯ɫ]
  • Rhymes: -eɪl
  • Homophone: sale

Etymology 1

From Middle English saile, sayle, seil, seyl, from Old English seġl, from Proto-West Germanic *segl, from Proto-Germanic *seglą. Cognate with West Frisian seil, Low German Segel, Dutch zeil, German Segel, Swedish segel.


sail (countable and uncountable, plural sails)

  1. (nautical) A piece of fabric attached to a boat and arranged such that it causes the wind to drive the boat along. The sail may be attached to the boat via a combination of mast, spars and ropes.
  2. (nautical, uncountable) The concept of a sail or sails, as if a substance.
  3. (uncountable) The power harnessed by a sail or sails, or the use of this power for travel or transport.
  4. A trip in a boat, especially a sailboat.
  5. (dated, plural "sail") A sailing vessel; a vessel of any kind; a craft.
  6. (nautical) The conning tower of a submarine.
  7. The blade of a windmill.
  8. A tower-like structure found on the dorsal (topside) surface of submarines.
  9. The floating organ of siphonophores, such as the Portuguese man-of-war.
  10. (fishing) A sailfish.
  11. (paleontology) an outward projection of the spine, occurring in certain dinosaurs and synapsids
  12. Anything resembling a sail, such as a wing.
  • See also Thesaurus:sail
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Middle English sailen, saylen, seilen, seilien, from Old English siġlan (to sail), from Proto-West Germanic *siglijan, from *siglijaną. Cognate with West Frisian sile, Low German seilen, Dutch zeilen, German segeln, Swedish segla, Icelandic sigla.


sail (third-person singular simple present sails, present participle sailing, simple past and past participle sailed)

  1. 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 steam or other power.
  2. To move through or on the water; to swim, as a fish or a waterfowl.
  3. To ride in a boat, especially a sailboat.
  4. (intransitive) To set sail; to begin a voyage.
  5. To move briskly and gracefully through the air.
    • [flavor text of the card "Spirit of the Winds"] A spirit of the wind that freely sails the skies.
  6. (intransitive) To move briskly.
Derived terms
  • sail close to the wind

External links

  • Sail on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
  • Sail in the Encyclopædia Britannica (11th edition, 1911)


  • Alis, Isla, LIAs, LISA, Lias, Lisa, SiAl, ails, lais, lias, sial




  1. area



Borrowed from English sail. Doublet of zeil


  • IPA(key): /seːl/
  • Hyphenation: sail
  • Rhymes: -eːl


sail n (plural sails)

  1. (nautical) The fin or sail of a submarine.
    Synonym: toren


Alternative forms

  • sal


From Old Irish sal, from Proto-Celtic *salā.


  • IPA(key): /salʲ/


sail f (genitive singular saile)

  1. dirt, dross, impurity
  2. stain, defilement


Derived terms

Related terms


Further reading

  • “sal”, in Gregory Toner, Maire Ní Mhaonaigh, Sharon Arbuthnot, Dagmar Wodtko, Maire-Luise Theuerkauf, editors, eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language, 2019
  • “sal” in Foclóir Gaeḋilge agus Béarla, Irish Texts Society, 1st ed., 1904, by Patrick S. Dinneen, page 589.
  • "sail" in Foclóir Gaeilge–Béarla, An Gúm, 1977, by Niall Ó Dónaill.
  • Entries containing “sail” in New English-Irish Dictionary by Foras na Gaeilge.



sail (nominative plural sails)

  1. (nautical) sail


Derived terms

  • sailan
  • sailön



Borrowed from Latin solea (sole).


sail f (plural seiliau, not mutable)

  1. base, basis, foundation
    Synonym: sylfaen

Derived terms

  • seiliedig (established; fundamental)


“sail”, in R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies, 1950–present

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.