Definition of galliass in English:



  • A large type of galley, chiefly used during the 16th and 17th centuries.

    • ‘He might have sent them, certainly, a favoring breeze; perhaps, he only means to try their faith; at least the galleys shall attack; and in their van three of the great galliasses (the fourth lies half-crippled among the fleet) thrash the sea to foam with three hundred oars apiece; and see, not St. James leading them to victory, but Lord Howard's’
    • ‘They had several large galliasses and ‘shallops with oars.’’
    • ‘The remarkable frieze of ships depicts the armed merchantmen or galliasses of that period, in which Greenway and other members of the Merchant Adventurers' Company transported their goods.’
    • ‘Raleigh sat on a rock in the ocean-stream, and smoked; and all the world hired galliasses, and came to see.’
    • ‘The galleons were shorter in proportion to their breadth than the galliasses.’
    • ‘The emperor laid his plans in this way for the construction and equipment of a fleet of about one hundred ships and vessels, consisting of frigates, store-ships, bomb-vessels, galleys, and galliasses.’
    • ‘In after times these merchandizes, drugs, and spiceries, were carried in ships from India to the Straits of Ormus, and the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, and were unladen at the city of Basora; from whence they were carried overland to Aleppo, Damascus, and Barutti; and there the Venetian galliasses, which transported pilgrims to the Holy Land, came and received the goods.’
    • ‘The galleys led the way, and in their van rode three of the four great galliasses, thrashing the sea to foam with three hundred oars apiece.’
    • ‘The galleass (or galliass) was a larger, heavier form of galley, with three masts and often with a raised, protected platform at the stern and bow from which cannon were fired.’
    • ‘Several galliasses, sent by the Spanish admiral to the rescue of the galleon, were nearly taken.’
    • ‘One of the four great galliasses is already riddled with shot, to the great disarrangement of her ‘pulpits, chapels,’ and friars therein assistant.’


Mid 16th century: from Old French galleasse, from Italian galeaza ‘large galley’, from galea (see galley).