sailing Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the work of a sailor
    navigation; seafaring.
  2. noun riding in a sailboat
  3. noun the departure of a vessel from a port
  4. noun the activity of flying a glider
    gliding; soaring; glide; sailplaning.
  5. verb traverse or travel on (a body of water)
    • We sailed the Atlantic
    • He sailed the Pacific all alone
  6. verb move with sweeping, effortless, gliding motions
    sail; sweep.
    • The diva swept into the room
    • Shreds of paper sailed through the air
    • The searchlights swept across the sky
  7. verb travel on water propelled by wind
    • I love sailing, especially on the open sea
    • the ship sails on
  8. verb travel on water propelled by wind or by other means
    voyage; sail; navigate.
    • The QE2 will sail to Southampton tomorrow


Sail"ing noun
  1. The act of one who, or that which, sails; the motion of a vessel on water, impelled by wind or steam; the act of starting on a voyage.
  2. (Naut.) The art of managing a vessel; seamanship; navigation; as, globular sailing; oblique sailing. ✍ For the several methods of sailing, see under Circular, Globular, Oblique, Parallel, etc.

Webster 1913