sail near the wind


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Related to sail near the wind: off the wind

near the wind

1. nautical Into or at a close angle to the direction from which the wind is blowing. We'll be sailing near the wind, so we need to trim the sails in all the way in order to keep the boat moving forward.
2. dated In a risky or dangerous manner. If you keep sailing so near the wind, the police are going to arrest you eventually.
See also: near, wind

sail near the wind

1. nautical To sail in the direction from which the wind is blowing. We should be sailing near the wind in conditions like this.
2. dated To act or progress in a risky or dangerous manner. If you keep sailing so near the wind, the police are going to arrest you eventually.
See also: near, sail, wind
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

near the wind

1. Nautical Close to the wind.
2. Close to danger.
See also: near, wind
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

sail close to (near) the wind, to

To come close to breaking a law or approaching impropriety. The analogy to sailing dangerously close to the wind began to be made in the nineteenth century. Coleridge’s son Hartley, in a critical edition of the plays of Massinger and Ford (1840), used it: “Her language sails a little too near the wind.” It is heard less often today.
See also: close, sail, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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