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A much used maritime word meaning the top or forward part. The top edge of a four-sided sail is the head, the top of the mast is the masthead, the head of a ship is the bows (but the ship's head means the compass direction in which it is pointing). Headsails are the jibs and staysails hoisted at the forward end of a sailing vessel.

The word is also used as a verb in very much the same sense; a sailing vessel is headed by the wind when it swings round towards the vessel's bows so that the original course can no longer be laid. By the head, a ship which is drawing more water forward than aft.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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