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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [sail]

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sail

SAIL, n. [L. sal, salt.]

1. In navigation, a spread of canvas, or an assemblage of several breadths of canvas, [or some substitute for it,] sewed together with a double seam at the borders, and edged with a cord called the bolt-rope, to be extended on the masts or yards for receiving the impulse of wind by which a ship is driven. The principal sails are the courses or lower salts, the top-sails and top-gallant-sails.

2. In poetry, wings.

3. A ship or other vessel; used in the singular for a single ship, or as a collective name for many. We saw a sail at the leeward. We saw three sail on our star-board quarter. The fleet consists of twenty sail.

To loose sails, to unfurl them.

To make sail, to extend an additional quantity of sail.

To set sail, to expand or spread the sails; and hence; to begin a voyage.

To shorten sail, to reduce the extent of sail, or take in a part.

1. To strike sail, to lower the sails suddenly, as in saluting or in sudden gusts of wind.

2. To bate show or pomp.

SAIL, v.i.

1. To be impelled or driven forward by the action of wind upon sails, as a ship on water. A ship sails from New York for Liverpool. She sails ten knots an hour. She sails well close-hauled.

2. To be conveyed in a vessel on water; to pass by water. We sailed from London to Canton.

3. To swim.

Little dolphins, when they sail in the vast shadow of the British whale.

4. To set sail; to begin a voyage. We sailed from New York for Havre, June 15, 1824. We sailed from Cowes for New York, May 10, 1825.

5. To be carried in the air, as a balloon.

6. To pass smoothly along.

As is a wing'd messenger from heaven, when he bestrides the lazy pacing clouds, and sails upon the bosom of the air.

7. To fly without striking with the wings.

SAIL, v.t.

1. To pass or move upon in a ship, by means of sails.

A thousand ships were mann'd to sail the sea.

[This use is elliptical, on or over being omitted.]

2. To fly through

Sublime she sails th' aerial space, and mounts the winged gales.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [sail]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

SAIL, n. [L. sal, salt.]

1. In navigation, a spread of canvas, or an assemblage of several breadths of canvas, [or some substitute for it,] sewed together with a double seam at the borders, and edged with a cord called the bolt-rope, to be extended on the masts or yards for receiving the impulse of wind by which a ship is driven. The principal sails are the courses or lower salts, the top-sails and top-gallant-sails.

2. In poetry, wings.

3. A ship or other vessel; used in the singular for a single ship, or as a collective name for many. We saw a sail at the leeward. We saw three sail on our star-board quarter. The fleet consists of twenty sail.

To loose sails, to unfurl them.

To make sail, to extend an additional quantity of sail.

To set sail, to expand or spread the sails; and hence; to begin a voyage.

To shorten sail, to reduce the extent of sail, or take in a part.

1. To strike sail, to lower the sails suddenly, as in saluting or in sudden gusts of wind.

2. To bate show or pomp.

SAIL, v.i.

1. To be impelled or driven forward by the action of wind upon sails, as a ship on water. A ship sails from New York for Liverpool. She sails ten knots an hour. She sails well close-hauled.

2. To be conveyed in a vessel on water; to pass by water. We sailed from London to Canton.

3. To swim.

Little dolphins, when they sail in the vast shadow of the British whale.

4. To set sail; to begin a voyage. We sailed from New York for Havre, June 15, 1824. We sailed from Cowes for New York, May 10, 1825.

5. To be carried in the air, as a balloon.

6. To pass smoothly along.

As is a wing'd messenger from heaven, when he bestrides the lazy pacing clouds, and sails upon the bosom of the air.

7. To fly without striking with the wings.

SAIL, v.t.

1. To pass or move upon in a ship, by means of sails.

A thousand ships were mann'd to sail the sea.

[This use is elliptical, on or over being omitted.]

2. To fly through

Sublime she sails th' aerial space, and mounts the winged gales.

SAIL, n. [Sax. segel; G. and Sw. segel; Dan. sejl; D. zeil; W. kwyl, a sail, a course, order, state, journey; hwyliaw, to set in a course, train or order, to direct, to proceed, to sail, to attack, to butt. The Welsh appears to be the same word. So hâl is the L. sal, salt.]

  1. In navigation, a spread of canvas, or an assemblage of several breadths of canvas, [or some substitute for it,] sewed together with a double seam at the borders, and edged with a cord called the bolt-rope, to be extended on the masts or yards for receiving the impulse of wind by which a ship is driven. The principal sails are the courses or lower sails, the top-sails and top-gallant-sails. – Mar. Dict.
  2. In poetry, wings. – Spenser.
  3. A ship or other vessel; used in the singular for a single ship, or as a collective name for many. We saw a sail at the leeward. We saw three sail on our starboard quarter. The fleet consists of twenty sail. To loose sails, to unfurl them. To make sail, to extend an additional quantity of sail. To set sail, to expand or spread the sails; and hence, to begin a voyage. To shorten sail, to reduce the extent of sail, or take in a part. To strike sail, to lower the sails suddenly, as in saluting or in sudden gusts of wind. #2. To abate show or pomp. [Colloquial.] – Shak.

SAIL, v.i.

  1. To be impelled or driven forward by the action of wind upon sails, as a ship on water. A ship sails from New York for Liverpool. She sails ten knots an hour. She sails well close-hauled.
  2. To be conveyed in a vessel on water; to pass by water. We sailed from London to Canton.
  3. To swim. Little dolphins, when they sail / In the vast shadow of the British whale. – Dryden.
  4. To set sail; to begin a voyage. We sailed from New York for Havre, June 15, 1824. We sailed from Cowes for New York, May 10, 1825. – N. W.
  5. To be carried in the air, as a balloon.
  6. To pass smoothly along. As is a wing'd messenger from heaven, / When he bestrides the lazy pacing clouds, / And sails upon the bosom of the air. – Shak.
  7. To fly without striking with the wings.

SAIL, v.t.

  1. To pass or move upon in a ship, by means of sails. A thousand ships were mann'd to sail the sea. – Dryden. [This use is elliptical, on or over being omitted.]
  2. To fly through. Sublime she sails / Th' aerial space, and mounts the winged gales. – Pope.

Sail
  1. An extent of canvas or other fabric by means of which the wind is made serviceable as a power for propelling vessels through the water.

    Behoves him now both sail and oar. Milton.

  2. To be impelled or driven forward by the action of wind upon sails, as a ship on water] to be impelled on a body of water by the action of steam or other power.
  3. To pass or move upon, as in a ship, by means of sails; hence, to move or journey upon (the water) by means of steam or other force.

    A thousand ships were manned to sail the sea. Dryden.

  4. Anything resembling a sail, or regarded as a sail.
  5. To move through or on the water; to swim, as a fish or a water fowl.
  6. To fly through; to glide or move smoothly through.

    Sublime she sails
    The aërial space, and mounts the wingèd gales.
    Pope.

  7. A wing; a van.

    [Poetic]

    Like an eagle soaring
    To weather his broad sails.
    Spenser.

  8. To be conveyed in a vessel on water; to pass by water; as, they sailed from London to Canton.
  9. To direct or manage the motion of, as a vessel; as, to sail one's own ship.

    Totten.
  10. The extended surface of the arm of a windmill.
  11. To set sail; to begin a voyage.
  12. A sailing vessel; a vessel of any kind; a craft.

    * In this sense, the plural has usually the same form as the singular; as, twenty sail were in sight.

  13. To move smoothly through the air; to glide through the air without apparent exertion, as a bird.

    As is a winged messenger of heaven, . . .
    When he bestrides the lazy pacing clouds,
    And sails upon the bosom of the air.
    Shak.

  14. A passage by a sailing vessel; a journey or excursion upon the water.

    * Sails are of two general kinds, fore-and-aft sails, and square sails. Square sails are always bent to yards, with their foot lying across the line of the vessel. Fore-and-aft sails are set upon stays or gaffs with their foot in line with the keel. A fore- and-aft sail is triangular, or quadrilateral with the after leech longer than the fore leech. Square sails are quadrilateral, but not necessarily square. See Phrases under Fore, a., and Square, a.; also, Bark, Brig, Schooner, Ship, Stay.

    Sail burton (Naut.), a purchase for hoisting sails aloft for bending. -- Sail fluke (Zoöl.), the whiff. -- Sail hook, a small hook used in making sails, to hold the seams square. -- Sail loft, a loft or room where sails are cut out and made. -- Sail room (Naut.), a room in a vessel where sails are stowed when not in use. -- Sail yard (Naut.), the yard or spar on which a sail is extended. -- Shoulder-of- mutton sail (Naut.), a triangular sail of peculiar form. It is chiefly used to set on a boat's mast. -- To crowd sail. (Naut.) See under Crowd. -- To loose sails (Naut.), to unfurl or spread sails. -- To make sail (Naut.), to extend an additional quantity of sail. -- To set a sail (Naut.), to extend or spread a sail to the wind. -- To set sail (Naut.), to unfurl or spread the sails; hence, to begin a voyage. -- To shorten sail (Naut.), to reduce the extent of sail, or take in a part. -- To strike sail (Naut.), to lower the sails suddenly, as in saluting, or in sudden gusts of wind; hence, to acknowledge inferiority; to abate pretension. -- Under sail, having the sails spread.

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Sail

SAIL, noun [Latin sal, salt.]

1. In navigation, a spread of canvas, or an assemblage of several breadths of canvas, [or some substitute for it, ] sewed together with a double seam at the borders, and edged with a cord called the bolt-rope, to be extended on the masts or yards for receiving the impulse of wind by which a ship is driven. The principal sails are the courses or lower salts, the top-sails and top-gallant-sails.

2. In poetry, wings.

3. A ship or other vessel; used in the singular for a single ship, or as a collective name for many. We saw a sail at the leeward. We saw three sail on our star-board quarter. The fleet consists of twenty sail

To loose sails, to unfurl them.

To make sail to extend an additional quantity of sail

To set sail to expand or spread the sails; and hence; to begin a voyage.

To shorten sail to reduce the extent of sail or take in a part.

1. To strike sail to lower the sails suddenly, as in saluting or in sudden gusts of wind.

2. To bate show or pomp.

SAIL, verb intransitive

1. To be impelled or driven forward by the action of wind upon sails, as a ship on water. A ship sails from New York for Liverpool. She sails ten knots an hour. She sails well close-hauled.

2. To be conveyed in a vessel on water; to pass by water. We sailed from London to Canton.

3. To swim.

Little dolphins, when they sail in the vast shadow of the British whale.

4. To set sail; to begin a voyage. We sailed from New York for Havre, June 15, 1824. We sailed from Cowes for New York, May 10, 1825.

5. To be carried in the air, as a balloon.

6. To pass smoothly along.

As is a wing'd messenger from heaven, when he bestrides the lazy pacing clouds, and sails upon the bosom of the air.

7. To fly without striking with the wings.

SAIL, verb transitive

1. To pass or move upon in a ship, by means of sails.

A thousand ships were mann'd to sail the sea.

[This use is elliptical, on or over being omitted.]

2. To fly through

Sublime she sails th' aerial space, and mounts the winged gales.

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Church. King James Bible.

— Itsleva (Decatur, AR)

Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

calver

CALVER, v.t. To cut in slices.

CALVER, v.i. To shrink by cutting, and not fall to pieces.

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Noah Webster, the Father of American Christian education, wrote the first American dictionary and established a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. This master linguist understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

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