Main definitions of ship in English

: ship1ship2

ship1

noun

  • 1A large boat for transporting people or goods by sea.

    ‘the ship left England with a crew of 36’
    ‘a cargo ship’
    • ‘A contract has been placed by the Ministry of Defence for two large amphibious landing ships.’
    • ‘Travelers on board ships sailing from America were not yet foreigners, but they were definitely not at home.’
    • ‘The location is a huge container ship docked in an unknown harbour.’
    • ‘They follow ships at sea, feeding on the refuse left in their wakes.’
    • ‘The next level is represented by countries with sufficiently large naval surface ships.’
    • ‘There was every kind from little boats to huge cargo ships, from dilapidated sailboats to magnificent barges.’
    • ‘They will be joined later this week by 800 Royal Marines on the new helicopter assault ship Ocean, which has set sail with a flotilla of three support ships and a frigate.’
    • ‘This afternoon at 1:32 p.m. a Canadian cruise ship sailed near our borders.’
    • ‘She said the family felt terrible that so many vacationers on board the cruise ship had been frightened and delayed.’
    • ‘This is an international legal requirement for all personnel who work aboard ships, including sailors, officers, captains and engineers.’
    • ‘Also, some of the cruise ships that traditionally dock here have left the area now, with their passengers on-board.’
    • ‘There are ships off the coast with humanitarian rations and medicines aboard.’
    • ‘Returning to Metro had taken him several months of stowing away on cargo ships and transports before finally reaching the city.’
    • ‘A man was arrested yesterday after a five-and-a-half hour siege on a cargo ship off the coast of Scotland.’
    • ‘They also provide maintenance training for Sailors aboard ships.’
    • ‘The packages are just for the sailors and marines aboard ships.’
    • ‘At sea German U-boats were sinking so many merchant ships that Britain was close to starvation.’
    • ‘The first two ships to set sail are just days away from British waters.’
    • ‘After leaving the Army, Bill served on board a passenger ship sailing between Southampton and South Africa.’
    • ‘In the meantime, officials have cleared cruise ships to leave the port.’
    vessel, craft, boat
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A sailing vessel with a bowsprit and three or more square-rigged masts.
      • ‘In September 1519 he set sail with five ships and 240 men.’
      • ‘At a young age, Ramona went out on her father's small sloop and learned everything about a ship and sailing.’
      • ‘Harnessed up and clipped on - and on flat water - the task was a different story to how it would have been in the glory days of square-rigged pirate ships, exposed on a rolling sea.’
      • ‘The marines and seamen soon had the pirate ship swept of her inhabitants.’
      • ‘In the early years of sailing ships, the European ships had a square sail design.’
      • ‘Indeed, one of the main reasons for its construction was to prevent Viking ships from sailing unchecked upriver.’
      • ‘During the Civil War, Confederate ships frequently attacked Union vessels on the high seas.’
      • ‘He lashed himself to the ship's mast, plugged his crew's ears with wax and ordered them not to look at his face or listen to his commands.’
      • ‘In 1727 he won the Grand Prix of the Académie Royale des Sciences for his submission on masts of ships.’
      • ‘Almost 100 lots were sold at the auction including a balloon ride and a trip on a tall sailing ship.’
      • ‘She stood at the bowsprit of the ship, as still as the bolted-down bench she was standing on.’
      • ‘Shipwreck D is so well-preserved that cord tied in a V-shape at the top of the ship's wooden mast is still clearly visible.’
      • ‘It was fantastic to see all the ships sails at full mast, it looked like some 18th century sea battle.’
      • ‘The name St Elmo's fire came about because this type of lightning was first seen by sailors on the masts of ships, and St Elmo is the patron saint of sailors.’
      • ‘The ceiling was about ten feet high and seemed to reflect the actual sky that hung over the masts of the ship, many stories above.’
      • ‘She found herself laying on the broken mast of the ship, with white sails and splinters of wood floating lazily around her.’
      • ‘He believed that British shipping was licensed and that the opium ships were vessels which had evaded licensing.’
      • ‘She stared at the pirate as he leaned up against the fore mast of the ship and grabbed a rope that connected to one of the sails for balance.’
      • ‘How many times as children did we pretend we were the captain of a pirate ship sailing the Spanish Main?’
      • ‘All I could think about was my handsome brother dressed as a Mohawk swinging from the mast of the ship and landing on deck like a swashbuckling pirate!’
    2. 1.2informal Any boat, especially a racing boat.
      • ‘Luxury vessels and midsize ships sail from Vancouver, BC and Seattle.’
      • ‘With a beam of 106 ft, the ships are the largest vessels that can fit through the Panama Canal.’
      • ‘The air was thick with the smell of the ocean, sailors beginning to untie their ships for mornings of sailing and fishing.’
      ocean liner, passenger vessel, boat
      View synonyms
  • 2A spaceship.

    • ‘Similarly, to deal with the intense radiation environment, the ship is equipped with a magnetic shield that they can turn on when needed.’
    • ‘They docked their ships back at the space station.’
    • ‘For her efforts, the combined gunfire from the three ships finished the space station.’
    • ‘He gave mental orders to his staff aboard the command ship in orbit beyond the third moon.’
    • ‘Other ships were mineral transports bringing raw materials from the outlying planets of the solar system back to Earth for processing.’
    • ‘Additionally, large alien space ships may orbit Earth.’
    • ‘Over the course of the game, which is made up of thirteen missions, players will have the opportunity to pilot four different ships with eleven various starship weapons.’
    • ‘He had been told to expect the ship to re-enter real space sometime in the next hour.’
    • ‘The stealthy ship had arrived on the planet several hours before, undetected by the Planetary Defense Grid.’
    • ‘The two ships would dock in orbit, and propellants would transfer into the lunar craft.’
    • ‘The command ship accommodated three astronauts and the lunar lander only two.’
    • ‘For Jameson, the building is like an alien ship, a space capsule.’
    • ‘We're running out of here before that crowd gets to the spaceport and trashes our ship.’
    • ‘Fighters kept their gravity well below Earth norm, the standard gravity found on ships and space stations.’
    • ‘Fighters will be launched and recovered from space stations and ships.’
    • ‘There were whole armadas of different ships, space stations and planets, no end to the add-ons for your craft and every mission was different.’
    • ‘These people kept the ship running, transporting the strange and deadly cargo around the universe.’
    • ‘It believes that a circular spaceship carrying 1,500 smaller ships filled with bombs will at some indeterminate point destroy both Britain and America.’
    • ‘To launch a ship into higher orbit, or to a distant planet, it must carry more fuel.’
  • 3North American An aircraft.

    • ‘Clearly, the aircraft was one hot ship and it started piling up victories until tragedy struck at the 1937 Cleveland event.’
    aircraft, craft, flying machine
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • a sinking ship

    • Used with reference to a situation in which people are deserting an organization or enterprise that is failing.

      ‘they have fled like rats from a sinking ship’
      • ‘But he got aboard a sinking ship and has had little chance to plug the leaks.’
      • ‘The city government cleared out Tuesday night, leaving a sinking ship.’
      • ‘His resignation should shortly follow the elections, paving the way for someone new to come in and rebuild a sinking ship.’
      • ‘Two months ago, his campaign looked like a sinking ship and today he's probably on the way to the nomination.’
      • ‘Given his obvious skills at putting the best face on a sinking ship, surely a role with the National Party would have been more appropriate?’
      • ‘The experience that steadied a sinking ship is likely to remain and changes will be implemented with care.’
      • ‘I have to think of my future and I don't want to hang around a sinking ship.’
      • ‘They haven't jumped a sinking ship and that's appreciated.’
      • ‘Has he received words of encouragement from friends and the like, or has this been jumping off a sinking ship?’
      • ‘So what makes the captain of a sinking ship so deserving?’
      • ‘I, on the other hand am not impressed because if we're ever on a sinking ship, my husband is sinking like a rock.’
  • ship a sea

    • (of a boat) be flooded by a wave.

      • ‘The third time, they got off, though not without shipping a sea which drenched them all, and half filled their boat, keeping them baling, until they reached their ship.’
      • ‘Zethar is one of the earlier boats with the low coaming at the forward end of the cockpit so if we were to ship a sea it would go straight below.’
      • ‘One of the oilers stood watch at the dining room door, closing it when the boat shipped a sea and opening it when the decks were clear to let the water out of the cabins.’
      • ‘He accordingly decided on beaching the boat towards the Wanganui, but when about a mile from the shore she shipped a sea and eventually capsized.’
      • ‘In rounding Flamborough Head the boat shipped a sea and washed the mizzen and boom away, and filled the coble on deck.’
      • ‘Coming in we shipped a sea on the quarter bow, which caused the boat to fill and turn on her broadside.’
      • ‘I do consider that for men in big ships a sea engagement is a particularly trying experience.’
      • ‘If she shipped a sea, or if she touched a snag (and there were plenty of them about) we were done for.’
      • ‘It is very odd that this ship shipped a sea the very hour as we were, which stove her boats, and bulwarks.’
      • ‘He shipped a sea or two, as the sailor would say, before he was rescued by the helping hand of his companion from a watery grave.’
  • take ship

    • Set off on a voyage by ship; embark.

      ‘they were due to take ship for Rhodes’
      • ‘You will then take ship at Krelik and sail down the Spear.’
      • ‘Early in 1406 events came to a head when James fled for safety to the Bass Rock, took ship for France, only to be captured at sea and delivered to Henry IV of England.’
      • ‘In 296, with Maximian guarding the Rhine, Constantius and his praetorian prefect, Asclepiodotus, took ship for Britain.’
      • ‘The army took ship on 5 April, but was struck by catastrophe.’
      • ‘And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.’
      • ‘We took ship together to England, to visit the court in London.’
      • ‘On 17 March 49 B.C., Pompey took ship for Macedonia.’
      • ‘Without the strong hand of the emperor, the German army began to break up: some returned to Europe, some took ship and sailed to Antioch, and some went overland to Antioch.’
      • ‘These ambassadors took ship for Norway immediately after the court scene, on 2 November.’
      • ‘The first battle was decisive, in so far as James immediately accepted that his own game was up, and took ship for France.’
      board ship, go on board, go aboard, climb aboard, step aboard, take ship
      View synonyms
  • that (or the) ship has sailed

    • informal Used in reference to an opportunity that has passed or a situation that can no longer be changed.

      ‘we're good friends but I don't think we'll ever be anything more to each other—that ship has sailed’
      • ‘And whenever you mention sovereignty now, you will be told: "Oh, that ship has sailed".’
      • ‘It's great that they can still pull big numbers with this show/format in Brazil and elsewhere, but the ship has sailed in North America.’
      • ‘The signs were pointing towards Gardner making his return before the end of the month, but that ship has sailed.’
      • ‘It's time to accept that the ship has sailed and no matter how hard I chase after it with the world's fastest speedboat I may never catch up.’
      • ‘I think the ship has sailed on my career in a uniform, though once in awhile I joke about being available if the Yankees need another reliever.’
      • ‘Well, I still think the art direction is a little too much the style of the books' designer, Seth, as opposed to Charles M. Schulz, but I suppose that ship has sailed.’
      • ‘"They want us to reopen the case?" "No. That ship has sailed."’
      • ‘His smile still makes her melt, but Sarah knows that ship has sailed.’
      • ‘That ship has sailed, and there is already nuclear waste at various power plants throughout the United States.’
      • ‘That ship has sailed, and Wal-Mart is firmly at the helm.’
  • when one's ship comes in (or home)

    • When one's fortune is made.

      • ‘I remember hearing my parents talk about how much better life would be when their ship came in, but I never knew whether or not they really expected it to happen.’
      • ‘But my worst fear - echoing my elder daughter's prediction that ‘Dad, when your ship comes in you'll be at the airport!’’
      • ‘Uptown girl, you know I can't afford to buy her pearls, but maybe someday when my ship comes in, she'll understand what kind of guy I am.’
      • ‘The right honourable gentleman opposite is a very naughty man, and he will laugh on the other side of his face when my ship comes in.’
      • ‘Even people who were flat broke got in on the action when brokers lent them the money to buy shares, in the belief that when their ship came in, they'd share the ride.’
      • ‘She's the kind of real life gal who'll buy you a beer, let you cry on her shoulder and be the first one to give you a high-five when your ship comes in.’

Origin

Old English scip (noun), late Old English scipian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schip and German Schiff.

Pronunciation

ship

/ʃɪp/

Main definitions of ship in English

: ship1ship2

ship2

noun

informal
  • A romantic pairing between two characters in a fictional series, often one that is supported or portrayed by fans rather than depicted in the series itself.

    ‘the thing that I loved about the Mulder/Scully ship was that we knew so much about their characters’
    • ‘I'm sure that many will agree with me when I say that Mulder and Scully are the ship to end all ships.’
    • ‘While some might have welcomed a ship of Tauriel and Legolas, there are still plenty, us included, who disagree.’
    • ‘It looks like the Kirk/Spock ship is back in this new clip from Star Trek: Into The Darkness.’
    • ‘I literally cannot wait until your opinion piece on ships and fan fiction.’
    • ‘My fave ships are from shows: Bones, Being Human, True Blood etc.’
    • ‘Their dedication to their ships is scary sometimes.’
    • ‘This one's for fans of the Draco and Hermione ship.’
    • ‘I like to read about ships between fictional characters.’
    • ‘In January she dipped into the world of Harry/Draco, and has been writing in that ship ever since.’

Origin

Early 21st century: abbreviation of relationship.

Pronunciation

ship

/ʃɪp/