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sail - definition and synonyms


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verb sail pronunciation in American English /seɪl/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesailing
past tensesailed
past participlesailed
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  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if a boat sails, it moves across the surface of an ocean, lake, river, etc.
    The yacht sailed into harbor.
    The boat was never designed to sail such rough seas.
    1. a.
      [intransitive] to travel somewhere by boat or ship
      Sail to Greece aboard the SS Monterey.
    2. b.
      [intransitive] to begin a trip by boat or ship
      We sail for Guadalajara tomorrow morning.
    3. c.
      [intransitive/transitive] to control the movement of a boat or ship, especially one that uses the wind to move it
      It’s a great opportunity to learn to sail.
      They spent their vacation sailing the Caribbean (=sailing a boat around the Caribbean).
  2. 2
    [intransitive] to move quickly and easily
    He sailed past us without even saying a word.
    The ball sailed over his head and into the goal.

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