English

Definition of sail verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    sail

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//seɪl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//seɪl//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they sail
    BrE BrE//seɪl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//seɪl//
     
    he / she / it sails
    BrE BrE//seɪlz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//seɪlz//
     
    past simple sailed
    BrE BrE//seɪld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//seɪld//
     
    past participle sailed
    BrE BrE//seɪld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//seɪld//
     
    -ing form sailing
    BrE BrE//ˈseɪlɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈseɪlɪŋ//
     
    Boating, Travelling by boat or ship
     
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  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 harbour The dinghy sailed smoothly across the lake. The ferry sails from Newhaven to Dieppe. one of the first people to sail around the world sail something to sail the Atlantic See related entries: Boating, Travelling by boat or ship
  2. 2  (also go 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 yacht. 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 journey on water We sail at 2 p.m. tomorrow. sail for something He sailed for the West Indies from Portsmouth. See related entries: Travelling by boat or ship
  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, ignoring me completely.
  5. Word Origin Old English segel (noun), seglian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zeil and German Segel (nouns).Extra examples He sailed across the Atlantic. The boat sailed gracefully on into the distance. The boat sailed serenely on towards the horizon. The ferry sailed for Staten Island. The ferry sails for Southampton at 5.30. We sailed on a large ocean liner. We sailed the boat out into the middle of the lake. We were sailing from Dover to Calais. sailing across the English Channel sailing on the sea sailing out of the harbour to sail around the world An owl sailed silently out of the branches. I learned to sail as a child. The ball sailed over the goalkeeper’s head. White clouds sailed across the sky.Idioms to take a risk by doing something that is dangerous or that may be illegal Phrasal Verbssail through (something)
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: sail