American English

Definition of sail verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sail
    he / she / it sails
    past simple sailed
    -ing form sailing
    jump to other results
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] (of a boat or ship or the people on it) to travel on water using sails or an engine (+ adv./prep.) to sail into harbor The boat sailed smoothly across the lake. The ferry sails from Port Townsend to Keystone. one of the first people to sail around the world sail something to sail the Atlantic
  2. 2go sailing [intransitive, transitive] to control or travel on a boat with a sail, especially as a sport We spent the weekend sailing off the south coast. Do you go sailing often? sail something She sails her own sailboat. He managed to sail the boat between the rocks.
  3. 3[intransitive] (of a boat or ship or the people in it) to begin a trip on water We sail at 2  p.m. tomorrow. sail for something He sailed for the Bermudas from Rhode Island.
  4. 4[intransitive] + adv./prep. to move quickly and smoothly in a particular direction; (of people) to move in a confident manner clouds sailing across the sky The ball sailed over the goalie's head. She sailed past me, ignoring me completely.
  5. Idioms
    sail close to the wind
    jump to other results
    to take a risk by doing something that is dangerous or that may be illegal
    Phrasal Verbssail through (something)
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: sail