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a. A vessel of considerable size for deep-water navigation.
b. A sailing vessel having three or more square-rigged masts.
2. An aircraft or spacecraft.
3. The crew of one of these vessels.
4. One's fortune: When my ship comes in, I'll move to a larger house.
v. shipped, ship·ping, ships
1. To place or receive on board a ship: shipped the cargo in the hold.
2. To cause to be transported; send. See Synonyms at send1.
3. To place (a ship's mast or rudder, for example) in its working position.
a. To bring into a ship or boat: ship an anchor.
b. To place (an oar) in a resting position inside a boat without removing it from the oarlock.
5. To hire (a person) for work on a ship.
6. To take in (water) over the side of a ship.
1. To go aboard a ship; embark.
2. To be sent as a delivery: The books that we ordered shipped from warehouse yesterday.
3. To travel by ship.
4. To hire oneself out or enlist for service on a ship.
Phrasal Verb:
ship out
1. To accept a position on board a ship and serve as a crew member: shipped out on a tanker.
2. To leave, as for a distant place: troops shipping out to the war zone.
3. To send, as to a distant place.
4. Informal To quit, resign from, or otherwise vacate a position: Shape up or ship out.
tight ship
A well-managed and efficient business, household, or organization: We run a tight ship.

[Middle English, from Old English scip.]

ship′pa·ble adj.
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.


  • nauscopy - The ability to sight land or ships at a distance.
  • spring a leak - First referred to ships, describing the way the timbers sprang out of position and let in water.
  • square meal - May derive from the square platters used for serving meals on ships.
  • longshoremen - When sailors passed goods from the ships to men along the shore, those men came to be called longshoremen.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


See also travel; vehicles

Law. an act of fraud by a master or crew at the expense of the owners of a ship or the owners of its cargo. Also spelled barretry. — barratrous, adj.
the pledging of a ship as security for a loan; if the ship is lost the debt is canceled.
the act of navigating or trading along a coast.
1. the delay of a ship at mooring beyond the time stipulated for unloading or other purposes.
2. the charge levied for such delay.
material floating on the sea, especially debris or goods from ship-wrecks. Cf. jetsam.
1. part of a ship’s cargo thrown overboard, as to lighten the load in the event of danger.
2. such cargo when it is washed ashore.
3. anything which is discarded. Cf. flotsam.
Obsolete, the skill or art of the pilot; pilotage.
Obsolete, a ship’s pilot.
a rhumb line or curve on the surface of a sphere intersecting all meridians at the same angle; hence, the course of a ship or aircraft following a constant compass direction. — loxodromic, adj.
the art, science, or practice of sailing obliquely across lines of longitude at a constant bearing to them. — loxodromic, adj.
1. a mock sea fight, as in ancient Rome.
2. the place where such fights were conducted.
Rare. an apparatus for measuring the inclination of a heeling or listing ship.
the art, sometimes pretended, of being able to sight ships or land at great distances.
an instrument for recording the vibrations of a steamship. — pallographic, adj.
the technique or practice of guiding ships by means of signal lights, as in lighthouses.
1. the act of piloting.
2. the skill or expertise of a pilot. See also dues and payment.
1. the embezzling of goods on board ship.
2. the goods embezzled.
permission given to a ship to do business with a port once quarantine and other regulations have been complied with.
1. the former privilege of the English monarch to receive two tuns of wine from every ship importing twenty tuns or more.
2. Also called butlerage. a duty of two shillings on every tun imported by foreign merchants.
3. (in England) the Crown’s share of merchandise seized lawfully as a prize at sea.
1. the recovery of a ship or its contents or cargo after damage or sinking.
2. the material recovered and the compensation to those who recover it.
3. the rescue and use of any found or discarded material.
the act of seizing neutral ships with government permission in time of war. See also church; theft.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Being thus delivered from a danger which, though I knew not the reason of it, yet seemed to be much greater than I apprehended, I resolved that we should change our course, and not let any one know whither we were going; so we stood out to sea eastward, quite out of the course of all European ships, whether they were bound to China or anywhere else, within the commerce of the European nations.
He then told us that he went to Batavia, where two of the seamen belonging to the ship arrived, having deserted the rest in their travels, and gave an account that the fellow who had run away with the ship, sold her at Bengal to a set of pirates, who were gone a- cruising in her, and that they had already taken an English ship and two Dutch ships very richly laden.
This time it was to the land south of Newfoundland that the ships took their way.
Although with the destruction of the Invincible Armada the sea power of Spain had been crippled, it had not been utterly broken, and still whenever Spanish and English ships met on the seas, there was sure to be battle.
It was a Nantucket ship, the Bachelor, which had just wedged in her last cask of oil, and bolted down her bursting hatches; and now, in glad holiday apparel, was joyously, though somewhat vain-gloriously, sailing round among the widely-separated ships on the ground, previous to pointing her prow for home.
Come along, will ye (merry's the play); a full ship and homeward-bound.
Landfall and Departure mark the rhythmical swing of a seaman's life and of a ship's career.
The Departure is not the ship's going away from her port any more than the Landfall can be looked upon as the synonym of arrival.
SAILING homeward, the Doctor's ship had to pass the coast of Barbary.
When they caught a boat like this at sea, they would steal everything on it; and after they had taken the people off they would sink the ship and sail back to Barbary singing songs and feeling proud of the mischief they had done.
Now, one day it was announced in the village that the King had issued a decree, offering his daughter, the Princess, in marriage to whoever should build a ship that could fly.
- Ship Fare.- A Labrador Veteran- Literary Clerks.- Curious Travellers.- Robinson Crusoe's Island.- Quarter-Deck Quarrels.- Falkland Islands.- A Wild-Goose Chase.- Port Egmont.- Epitaph Hunting.- Old Mortality- Penguin Shooting.- Sportsmen Left in the Lurch.-A Hard Pull.- Further Altercations.- Arrival at Owyhee.