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From Middle English sailer, sayler, saylere, equivalent to sail +‎ -er.


sailer (plural sailers)

  1. That which sails; a boat.
    • 1880, Thomas Hardy, The Trumpet-Major, Chapter 34,[1]
      She is the best sailer in the service, and she carries a hundred guns.
    • 1924, Herman Melville, Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co., Chapter 16,[2]
      Elsewhere it has been said that in the lack of frigates (of course better sailers than line-of-battle ships) in the English squadron up the Straits at that period, the Indomitable was occasionally employed not only as an available substitute for a scout, but at times on detached service of more important kind.
  2. Obsolete form of sailor.
    • 2002, Cheryl A. Fury, Tides in the Affairs of Men
      The records of Stepney parish note the burial of Henry Rainsford "an old sailer sometyme beadle of Ratclife and now a pencioner."