One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1historical A type of battleship introduced in the early 20th century, larger and faster than its predecessors and equipped entirely with large-calibre guns.
- ‘John Fisher was astute enough to support most technical developments - such as submarines and the dreadnoughts - and his impact on naval policy on World War One cannot be disputed.’
- ‘Instead, for political reasons, he got dreadnoughts - which were then stationed near home.’
- ‘There are of course more potent ships to command, specifically destroyers, cruisers and dreadnoughts.’
- ‘The Admiralty placed its faith in dreadnoughts and Britain's traditional naval ships - and this, to a great extent, did not include submarines.’
- ‘In addition to these vessels, Congress authorized seven dreadnoughts in 1916 and seven fast battleships in 1940, none of which was finished.’
2archaic A fearless person.
- ‘Murray, long a comedic dreadnought, has in recent years come into his prime as a dramatic actor.’
- ‘The ex-Darlington dreadnought returned against Forest Green Rovers but did not train for much of last week after aggravating the injury.’
- ‘But that's exactly what happened when the two eternal dreadnoughts of Scottish football last met, on April 29.’
3archaic A heavy overcoat for stormy weather.
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