sail - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sail”

See all translations

sail

verb 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 deck waved. The ship was sailing to China.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 world single-handed in her yacht. [I] When a ship sails, it starts its journey, and when people sail from a particular place or at a particular time, they start their journey in a ship: Their ship sails for Bombay next Friday.
More examples

sail verb (MOVE QUICKLY)

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

sail

noun uk   us   /seɪl/

sail noun (MATERIAL)

C2 [C] a sheet of material attached to a pole on a boat to catch the wind and make the boat move: to hoist/lower the sails [C] On a windmill , a sail is any of the wide blades that are turned by the wind in order to produce power.

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 nearest island.set sail C2 to begin a boat journey: We set sail from Kuwait. They set sail for France.
Idioms
(Definition of sail from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of sail?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “sail” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

cup tie

a game between two teams trying to win a cup (= prize), especially in football

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

plyscraper noun

May 18, 2015
a skyscraper made mainly from wood The development of engineered timber could herald a new era of eco-friendly ‘plyscrapers’. Christchurch welcomed its first multistorey timber structure this year, there are plans for Vancouver, and the talk is China could follow

Read More