Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "mainmast" []

  • The principal mast of a sailing vessel. (noun)
  • The taller mast, whether forward or aft, of a two-masted sailing vessel. (noun)
  • The second mast aft of a sailing ship with three or more masts. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "mainmast" in a sentence
  • "Fastened by chains to the mainmast were a number of grisly staghounds, who now began leaping and barking at me, and by the mizzen a huge puma was cramped in a little iron cage far too small even to give it turning room."
  • "The mainmast was a wreck; the shrouds on the port side having been torn from the gunwale the second day of the storm, and the entire deck was one mass of debris and wreckage."
  • ""If we attempt it, Sir, we shall lose them, for a man aloft can do nothing; besides their being down would ease the ship very little; the mainmast is a sprung mast; I wish it was overboard without carrying any thing else along with it; but that can soon be done, the gale cannot last for ever; 'twill soon be daylight now.""