Basic+ Word of the Day: sail

sail (noun, verb) past tense: sailed LISTEN

A sail is a piece of cloth on a boat or ship to catch the wind.

  • The ship had three sails.
  • The sail moved back and forth in the gentle wind.

Sail means ‘to travel in a ship.’

  • The cruise ship sailed through the Panama Canal.
  • Columbus sailed from Spain with three ships.

Sail can also mean ‘to move like a sailing ship.’

  • Taylor sailed into the room and took over the meeting.

Don't confuse it with

sale: an offering of goods at reduced prices. Example: “During the sale, prices are reduced by 50 percent.”

Common uses

set sail for: to start a voyage. Example: “The sailors set sail for the island at dawn.”

Related words

sailor: a person in the navy whose rank is below officer. Example: “The sailor communicated with the other ships in the area.”

In pop culture

Do you know the series Sailor Moon? It’s based on a Japanese manga series and it’s about the adventures of a schoolgirl who tries to avoid the destruction of the Solar System. Here’s the opening song in English:

There are other meanings of sail.
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