from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A topsail set flying from the deck, with its Luff laced to a pole called a ‘sprit.’ This sail does not project beyond the gaff-end like a club-topsail, and it must not be confounded with the spritsail, spritsail-topsail, or sprit sail top-gallantsail.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The sprit-topsail yard under the reaching bowsprit twitched. one end flying into the air, then fell, broken, to hang close to the sea.

    Sharpe's Trafalgar

  • The bowsprit staved very much, and was to appearance almost as a fourth mast: the more so, as she carried a square spritsail and sprit-topsail.

    The Phantom Ship


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