sail Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “sail” in the English Dictionary

"sail" in British English

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sailverb

uk   us   /seɪl/
  • sail verb (TRAVEL)

B2 [I usually + adv/prep] When a ​boat or a ​ship sails, it ​travels on the ​water: The ​boat sailed along/down the ​coast. As the ​battleship sailed by/past, everyone on ​deckwaved. The ​ship was sailing toChina.B1 [I or T, usually + adv/prep] to ​control a ​boat that has no ​engine and is ​pushed by the ​wind: He sailed the ​dinghy up the ​river. She sailed around the ​worldsingle-handed in her ​yacht. [I] When a ​ship sails, it ​startstravelling, and when ​people sail from a ​particularplace or at a ​particulartime, they ​starttravelling in a ​ship: Their ​ship sails for Bombay next ​Friday.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • sail verb (MOVE QUICKLY)

[I + adv/prep] to ​movequickly, ​easily, and (of a ​person) ​confidently: The ​ball went sailing over the ​fence. He wasn't ​looking where he was going, and just sailed straight into her. Manchester United sailed on (= ​continuedeasily) tovictory in the ​final.

sailnoun

uk   us   /seɪl/
  • sail noun (MATERIAL)

C2 [C] a ​sheet of ​materialattached to a ​pole on a ​boat to ​catch the ​wind and make the ​boatmove: to ​hoist/​lower the sails [C] On a ​windmill, a sail is any of the ​wideblades that are ​turned by the ​wind in ​order to ​producepower.
  • sail noun (TRAVEL)

[S] a ​journey by ​boat or ​ship: It's two ​days' sail/It's a two-day sail (= a ​journey of two ​days by ​sea) from here to the ​nearestisland.set sail C2 to ​begin a ​boatjourney: We set sail from Kuwait. They set sail for France.
Idioms
(Definition of sail from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"sail" in American English

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sailverb [I/T]

 us   /seɪl/
to ​travelacrosswater in a ​boat or ​ship, or to ​operate a ​boat or ​ship on the ​water: [I] He is not ​fun to sail with. [T] I sail a ​smallracingboat. Sail also ​means to ​leave on a ​boat or ​ship: [I] When do we sail?

sailnoun [C]

 us   /seɪl/
a ​sheet of ​material used to ​catch the ​wind and move a ​boat or ​ship: I ​restored an ​oldwoodenboat and got a new ​canvas sail for it.
(Definition of sail from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“sail” in American English

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