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Lateen and Felucca
REH Lexicon

"I have watched your lateened feluccas..."



[ləˈtēn, laˈtēn]


lateens (plural noun) · lateen sail (noun) · lateen sails (plural noun)

a triangular sail on a long yard at an angle of 45° to the mast.

•a ship rigged with a lateen sail.


mid 16th cent.: from French (voile) Latine ‘Latin (sail),’ so named because it was common in the Mediterranean.

This is the common sail on the dhow, the caravel and later the rear-most mizzen mast of the galleon. This sail permits tacking into the wind and its adoption by the Portuguese facilitated navigation around Africa to the Indian Ocean.




feluccas (plural noun)

a small vessel propelled by oars or lateen sails or both, used on the Nile and formerly more widely in the Mediterranean region.


early 17th cent.: from Italian feluc(c)a, probably from obsolete Spanish faluca, from Arabic fulk ‘ship,’ probably from Greek epholkion ‘(towed) boat.’

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