Online Encyclopedia

SAIL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 1009 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SAIL, the English equivalent of the common Teutonic word for one of the two universal means of propulsion of a vessel through the water, the other being the oar (q.v.). For the various types of sail see RIGGING, and for the textile material used see SAILCLOTH below. The origin of the O. Eng. segl or segel and its cognates, e.g. Dutch zeil, Dan. seil, Ger. Segel, &c., is not known; it is certainly not connected with the Lat. sagulum, cloak, mantle. It may be derived from the Indo-European root sagh-, seen in Sanskrit salt, endure, the idea being of that which bears up against or resists the wind.
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