One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A group of ships sailing together, engaged in the same activity, or under the same ownership.‘the small port supports a fishing fleet’‘a fleet of battleships’
- ‘Holland America Cruise has a fleet of 12 luxury ships sailing to all the continents across more than 280 ports.’
- ‘At the same time, they sent a fleet of 100 ships to the Peloponnese.’
- ‘Among the ships are a fleet of wooden steamships, built to serve in World War I but then abandoned and brought here to be salvaged.’
- ‘In July 1497 Vasco da Gama left Lisbon with 170 men in a fleet of four heavy ships, each carrying 20 guns and a variety of trade goods.’
- ‘The Big Ship, Reynard, was the largest in the fleet of appropriated sailing ships that Claw's organization was running.’
- ‘Where it once had a fleet of 15 ships, it now has three, with another ship being reactivated later this year.’
- ‘The bad weather has hampered the work of a fleet of clean-up ships which have been sent by countries from around Europe.’
- ‘Again the screen flickered, changing the view to a fleet of magnificent shimmering ships.’
- ‘In 1210, he invaded Ireland with a fleet of 700 ships carrying his feudal host and a force of Flemish mercenaries.’
- ‘He met what he supposed was a fleet of Norse trading ships and directed the sailors to the nearby royal estate.’
- ‘We will sail in a fleet of five ships; the Conquest, Avenger, Illusion, Sea Queen, and Voyager.’
- ‘This time, he captained a fleet of four ships and was charged with finding a westward sea passage to East Asia.’
- ‘From evidence found at the site, a fleet of 120 Viking ships occupied the Woodstown site about 812.’
- ‘Through viticultural enterprise, the monastery became extremely powerful, owning a fleet of ships which sailed the Rhine.’
- ‘It seems that in 1678 the French planned to attack the Dutch with a fleet of 20 ships.’
- ‘Moore talks of spearheading ‘the new cavalry’, which means a fleet of helicopter gun ships.’
- ‘A fleet of thirteen ships and over 36,000 troops set forth for Alexandria, at the mouth of the Nile, in June 1798, conquering Malta on the way.’
- ‘In 1588 the world's most powerful empire launched a fleet of ships against a small maritime nation.’
- ‘The name comes from a hurricane that struck the area in 1715, wrecking a fleet of Spanish treasure ships en route from Havana to Spain.’
- ‘Although he also created advertisements and logos and executed historical murals for public schools and a fleet of cruise ships, he did little easel painting.’
- 1.1the fleet A country's navy.‘the US fleet’
navy, naval force, task force, naval task force, armada, flotilla, squadron, convoy, columnView synonyms
- ‘The comte de Rochambeau had already begun planning for a siege at Yorktown when he requested assistance from the commander of the French fleet in the Caribbean.’
- 1.2 A number of vehicles or aircraft operating together or under the same ownership.‘a fleet of ambulances took the injured to hospital’
- ‘The company is now conducting a review of all its operations which include 33 tour operators, 3,600 travel agents and a fleet of 83 aircraft.’
- ‘This county's brigade currently relies on a fleet of 24 vehicles, many of which are more than 20 years old.’
- ‘It has a fleet of 28 aircraft and transports 6.6 million passengers a year.’
- ‘It consists of 5,000 trained volunteer men and women and maintains a fleet of over 130 vehicles and ambulances.’
- ‘It operates a fleet of 13 Boeing 737-300s, and employs around 650 people.’
- ‘Indeed a number of councils have considered operating their own vehicle fleets in order to undermine the market strength of the powerful bus groups.’
- ‘It operates a modern fleet of 21 aircraft, linking destinations in north and central Italy with airports in Germany and other European countries.’
- ‘At lunchtime on August 15, radar operators near Scarborough picked up signals from a fleet of German aircraft heading over the North Sea.’
- ‘A fleet of 87 buses operated there when it closed in January, 1986.’
- ‘A fleet of 150 vehicles will be set up in West Yorkshire with about eight of them expected to be allocated to Bradford within 12 months.’
- ‘We operate a fleet of six aircraft; one of which is used as a dedicated stand-by aircraft.’
- ‘A fleet of vintage vehicles form the centre of attraction.’
- ‘The sirens have been fitted to 18 ambulances and 10 other emergency vehicles out of a fleet of 50 vehicles.’
- ‘The US operates a fleet of more than 15,000 aircraft, including 20 stealth bombers in service.’
- ‘Kent ambulance service has denied it is running a fleet of dirty vehicles after a report criticised cleaning procedures.’
- ‘It's not a very big airline (a fleet of 56 aircraft) yet it manages fatal crash after fatal crash.’
- ‘The airline now operates with a fleet of 367 aircraft, 6 fewer than last year.’
- ‘A fleet of vehicles would be at the disposal of every booking office for instant pickup and delivery, he added.’
- ‘How would you operate a fleet of large, sophisticated aircraft?’
- ‘Today it is regarded as one of the best equipped, most efficient and most economical in the country with a fleet of 24 vehicles.’
Old English flēot ‘ship, shipping’, from flēotan ‘float, swim’ (see fleet).
Fast and nimble in movement.‘a man of advancing years, but fleet of foot’nimble, agile, deft, lithe, limber, lissom, acrobatic, supple, light-footed, nimble-footed, light, light of foot, light on one's feet, spry, sprightly, lively, activeView synonyms
Early 16th century: probably from Old Norse fljótr, of Germanic origin and related to fleet.
1British dialect A marshland creek, channel, or ditch.
- ‘Sam explained that the 3,000 acres of the Nature Reserve is the largest in the English lowlands, the main area being grazing marsh divided by a network of ditches and fleets.’
- ‘The ditches, dikes and reed-edged fleets that crisscross the grazing marshes here are rich in invertebrates, including the scarce emerald damselfly.’
2A stream, now wholly underground, running into the Thames east of Fleet Street.
- 2.1historical A prison that stood near the Fleet.
- 2.1historical A prison that stood near the Fleet.
Old English flēot, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vliet, also to fleet.
1Move or pass quickly.‘a variety of expressions fleeted across his face’
- 1.1with object Pass (time) rapidly.‘we fleeted the time carelessly’
- 1.2 Fade away; be transitory.‘the cares of boyhood fleet away’
- 1.1with object Pass (time) rapidly.
Old English flēotan ‘float, swim’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vlieten and German fliessen, also to flit and float.
(of water) shallow.
At or to a small depth.
Early 17th century: perhaps based on an Old English cognate of Dutch vloot ‘shallow’ and related to fleet.
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