• WordNet 3.6
    • n topsail a sail (or either of a pair of sails) immediately above the lowermost sail of a mast and supported by a topmast
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Topsail (Naut) In a square-rigged vessel, the sail next above the lowermost sail on a mast. This sail is the one most frequently reefed or furled in working the ship. In a fore-and-aft rigged vessel, the sail set upon and above the gaff. See Cutter Schooner Sail, and Ship.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n topsail Nautical, a square sail next above the lowest or chief sail of a mast. It is carried on a topsail-yard.
    • topsail Same as topsails over (which see, under topsail, n.).
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Topsail (top′sāl, or -sl) a sail across the topmast
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. top; Ger. zopf.


In literature:

I noticed that my friend Fred Borders was the first man to spring up the shrouds and lay out on the main-topsail yard.
"Fighting the Whales" by R. M. Ballantyne
One of them big water-barrels with the topsail-yard run through?
"Fitz the Filibuster" by George Manville Fenn
In a short time afterwards another was descried, her topsails gradually rising out of the water.
"James Braithwaite, the Supercargo" by W.H.G. Kingston
With a shout of satisfaction the British crew observed the topsails of the black frigate and her three consorts let fall.
"Ronald Morton, or the Fire Ships" by W.H.G. Kingston
The brig was only under her topsails and mainsail, and I began to wonder at the mate's apprehensions.
"Happy Jack" by W.H.G. Kingston
Before long her topsails, and finally her royals, disappeared beneath the horizon.
"From Powder Monkey to Admiral" by W.H.G. Kingston
We had a moderate leading wind, which sent us under our topsails at a fair rate through the water.
"The Loss of the Royal George" by W.H.G. Kingston
Take another reef in the fore-topsail.
"The Three Admirals" by W.H.G. Kingston
She was a fine large square topsail schooner, with a black hull and taunt raking masts.
"The African Trader" by W. H. G. Kingston
The evening was approaching, and when I looked out for the ship I could but just distinguish her topsails above the horizon.
"Charley Laurel" by W. H. G. Kingston

In poetry:

A burst of cloudy topsails
Go blowing swiftly by,
With the stars aswirl behind them
Like bright dust down the sky.
"The Pirates" by DuBose Heyward
It's long ago, my first night on the sea,
And I've grown old, and sailing days are sped.
And I am waiting, waiting patiently,
Till other topsails gleam above my head.
"Stowaway" by Bill Adams
And in me then a something seemed to waken,
And I was 'mazed. It was as though the sea,
Or the big topsails by the night-wind shaken,
Had cast a sort of magic over me.
"Stowaway" by Bill Adams
Bear a hand—the storm lulls—and the tide sets off fast,
Ere again the wild hurricane brew,
Set her topsails, and slip—and the danger is past;
Then huzza for a Temperance crew.
"The Temperance Crew" by John Pierpont
We'll tow out to Flattery before the sun is high;
We'll shake the harbour dust away and give the land good-bye:
And singing in her topsails, O, the deep-sea wind'll come,
And lift us through it lively on the long road home.
"The Long Road Home" by Cicely Fox Smith
But I wish I was a-haulin' outer Salthouse Dock this day,
With the Mersey gulls a-pipin' an' the mornin' breakin' grey,
Sweatin' up the topsail yards, roarin' out in chorus,
All the bloomin' world to see, all our years afore us…
"Casey An' Me" by Cicely Fox Smith

In news:

Oceanfront property, North Topsail Beach.
Today's headlines from 'Pender- Topsail Post & Voice'.
'Pender- Topsail Post & Voice' update Nov 7.
Baseball North Duplin 4, Topsail 3 * CLINTON.
Autumn Feo buries her cousin, Andrew Garchar, in sand at Topsail Beach, N.C. Grandmother of both, Donna Leone of Poland, submitted the photo.
The Clinton High Dark Horse JV and varsity volleyball teams went into Topsail Thursday night and returned to Clinton with two losses.
Ground broken for SRB's Topsail Apartments.
The 250 Topsail Apartments will be available in one-, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans.
Dominion Partners recently broke ground for the $23-million Topsail Apartments in Santa Rosa Beach.
Topsail High School would like to announce Granville Gehris as our new head baseball coach .
We are confident that Coach Gehris will maintain the momentum that was build last season, and continue the success that Topsail baseball has come to expect.
Several coastal cities including Wrightsville Beach, Swansboro, Jacksonville, Topsail Island and Beaufort are hosting flotillas to launch the holiday season.
Knowing the rules can be the difference in winning and losing, as it was a couple of weeks ago when East Duplin defeated Hampstead Topsail.
Belle of Topsail and Pirate Ship Raven staying in Surf City.
Last month Skipper, who was very popular among students and parents, resigned from Topsail High School effective June 30 after a tumultuous year.