Pronunciation: (sāl),[key] —n. 1. an area of canvas or other fabric extended to the wind in such a way as to transmit the force of the wind to an assemblage of spars and rigging mounted firmly on a hull, raft, iceboat, etc., so as to drive it along.
2. some similar piece or apparatus, as the part of an arm that catches the wind on a windmill.
3. a voyage or excursion, esp. in a sailing vessel: They went for a sail around the island. 4. a sailing vessel or ship.
5. sailing vessels collectively: The fleet numbered 30 sail. 6. sails for a vessel or vessels collectively.
7. (cap.) Astron.the constellation Vela.
8. in sail, with the sails set.
9. make sail,Naut. a. to set the sail or sails of a boat or increase the amount of sail already set.
b. to set out on a voyage: Make sail for the Leeward Islands. 10. set sail, to start a sea voyage: We set sail at midnight forNantucket. 11. trim one's sails,Informal.to cut expenses; economize: We're going to have to trim our sails if we stay in business. 12. under sail, with sails set; in motion; sailing: It was good to be under sail in the brisk wind and under the warm sun.
—v.i. 1. to move along or travel over water: steamships sailing to Lisbon. 2. to manage a sailboat, esp. for sport.
3. to begin a journey by water: We are sailing at dawn. 4. to move along in a manner suggestive of a sailing vessel: caravans sailing along. 5. to move along in a stately, effortless way: to sail into a room.
—v.t. 1. to sail upon, over, or through: to sail the seven seas. 2. to navigate (a vessel).
3. sail in or into,Informal. a. to go vigorously into action; begin to act; attack.
b. to attack verbally: He would sail into his staff when work was going badly.