• WordNet 3.6
    • n spritsail a fore-and-aft sail extended by a sprit
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Spritsail sprĭt"sāl; among seamen sprĭt"s'l (Naut) A sail extended by a sprit.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n spritsail Nautical:
    • n spritsail A sail extended by a sprit, chiefly used in small boats. See sprit, 3.
    • n spritsail A sail, no longer in use, attached to a yard slung across the bowsprit of large vessels. It was often pierced with a large hole at each of its lower corners, to let out the water with which the belly of it was frequently filled when the ship pitched. Spritsail topsails and spritsail topgallantsails were also formerly used.
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In literature:

Berry was supported from the spritsail-yard, which locked in the SAN NICOLAS's main rigging.
"The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson" by Robert Southey
Wherever the spray struck, it turned instantly to frost, and the dipping boom of the spritsail was quickly fringed with icicles.
"The Faith of Men" by Jack London
Damn his entrails, and he is not come soon, I'll mast-head him naked, by the seven holy spritsails!
"Richard Carvel, Complete" by Winston Churchill
At this time the ship had been pitching her spritsail-yard under water, and it blew a little hurricane.
"Ned Myers" by James Fenimore Cooper
A third breaker wrenched off the spritsail yard.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
She set her lips as she watched Thirlwell haul the spritsail sheet.
"The Lure of the North" by Harold Bindloss
We ran alongside and doused our little spritsail.
"The Road" by Jack London
The bowsprit formerly had one yard, called the spritsail yard.
"The Major Operations of the Navies in the War of American Independence" by A. T. Mahan
The boat had a mast and spritsail.
"Poison Island" by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)
Forward the ships had bowsprits, on which each set a spritsail, from a spritsail yard.
"On the Spanish Main" by John Masefield
Our only squaresail was a spritsail at the main-yard to serve as a mainsail.
"Hurricane Hurry" by W.H.G. Kingston
Sett our Spritsail, Topsail and Square Sail with a fine Breeze of Wind.
"Privateering and Piracy in the Colonial Period" by Various
Those which formerly went from the spritsail-topmast to the middle of the fore-stay, serving to steady the former.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
Whereupon we cast off and hoisted the spritsail.
"Tales of the Fish Patrol" by Jack London
In quick succession we jumped off the spritsail yard, the black leading.
"Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 4, September, 1850" by Various
Full press, and hoist the spritsail.
"The Moghul" by Thomas Hoover
She had a spritsail, jib, foresail, and mizen.
"Digby Heathcote" by W.H.G. Kingston
When the wind is aft, and not too strong, the Indian makes a spritsail of his blanket.
"Canoeing in the wilderness" by Henry David Thoreau
When day broke, they succeeded in wearing the ship with a remnant of the spritsail: this was hardly to have been expected.
"Fifty-two Stories of the British Navy, from Damme to Trafalgar." by Alfred H. Miles
Spritsail sheet knot, 47.
"The Seaman's Friend" by Richard Henry Dana