sail near the wind(redirected from sailed near the wind)
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sail near the wind
1. Into the direction that the wind is coming from. A nautical phrase. We should be sailing near the wind in conditions like this.
2. In a risky or dangerous manner. If you keep sailing so near the wind, the police are going to arrest you eventually.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
near the wind
1. Nautical Close to the wind.
2. Close to danger.
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.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer