noun

  • 1often the navyThe branch of the armed services of a state which conducts military operations at sea:

    ‘she joined the navy in 1990’
    • ‘The incident happened in waters where the navy was conducting a massive sonar exercise.’
    • ‘According to the conscription law, those in the army must serve three years, while those in the navy and air force serve four.’
    • ‘Britain had the world's most powerful navy and a small army.’
    • ‘He said that members of the British merchant navy were civilians and had no military status.’
    • ‘Born in Scotland, Jones enlisted in the British merchant navy at the age of thirteen.’
    • ‘An Italian navy ship dropped rescue vessels into the water.’
    • ‘Coventry has been linked with Her Majesty's navy since 1658.’
    • ‘The completion date for the navy's nuclear-powered submarine was postponed several times, from 1995 to 2010.’
    • ‘Hundreds of the missiles are slated to be produced for the navy - the only branch of the military which has until now shown interest in purchasing the new weapons system.’
    • ‘Anti-aircraft missiles were on standby and the Spanish navy was also patrolling the seaside city.’
    • ‘Shortly after the operation got under way, the North Korean navy reacted with surprise and precision.’
    • ‘In 1992 three female navy veterans applied for admission to the daytime veterans' program.’
    • ‘In its more than 300-year history, the Russian navy has given rise to many glorious professional traditions.’
    • ‘Despite his harrowing moments, Jennings said he never thought about leaving the navy.’
    • ‘He had left the navy in disgrace after an affair with a young girl.’
    • ‘He dropped out of a New Jersey university in his third year to join the US navy.’
    • ‘Everybody I know joined the army, navy, air force, marines or coast guard.’
    • ‘For all practical purposes, the Japanese navy had ceased to exist as an organized fighting force.’
    • ‘This problem extends into all branches of the Canadian Armed Forces: the navy, the air force and army.’
    • ‘During that period Spain had the most powerful navy in the world.’
    • ‘There were also brochures from the different sections of the military: the navy, army, marines, etc.’
    • ‘At the same time we have deployed our navy to harass and turn away boats.’
    1. 1.1 The ships of a navy:
      ‘we built their navy’
      • ‘No ship in Victoria's navy was as well supplied with wine, pickles, and preserves as Challenger.’
      • ‘In the Second World War carriers replaced battleships as the capital ships of modern navies because aircraft could perform the functions of naval guns more effectively.’
      • ‘The U.S. Pacific Fleet does not have overwhelming size with respect to other navies in the region.’
      • ‘It gives the audience a gritty, detailed, and carefully researched view of daily life and deadly combat aboard a ship of Nelson's navy.’
      • ‘Ships were built both to modernize the navy and to catch the overflow of trade.’
      • ‘America was just starting to build a navy that could compete with other world powers.’
      • ‘Similarly, the U.S. Navy that entered World II was, first and foremost, a battleship navy.’
      • ‘The Queen of Sheba gave him a great amount of gold and he built a navy.’
      • ‘The navy consisted of twenty ships at the maximum and about ten were supply and merchant ships.’
      • ‘An edict was issued to this effect and by 1636, France had a navy of nearly 40 ships.’
      • ‘Some English ships attempt to fight but are no match for the superior ships of the Indian navy.’
      • ‘Richelieu also worked off of the logic that a major European power needed a navy to survive and to protect any expanding merchant fleet.’
      • ‘By the beginning of the twentieth century, the United States was also a maritime power, possessing a sizeable merchant fleet and navy.’
      • ‘The Dutch became the leading naval power of the 17th century by assembling provincial, local, and private fleets into a national navy.’
      • ‘In the pre-war period Italy also began to build a modern navy.’
      • ‘In the Black Sea the aim was to construct a fleet one and a half times bigger than the combined navies of the three other Black Sea states.’
    2. 1.2literary A fleet of ships.
      fleet, flotilla, armada, naval force, naval task force, squadron
      View synonyms
  • 2[mass noun] A dark blue colour:

    ‘the dress comes in navy, gunmetal grey, or black’
    [as modifier] ‘a navy blue suit’
    • ‘His father, with an air of exhaustion, wore a navy blazer and pale green shirt and tie.’
    • ‘I fished a crumpled copy of my class schedule from my navy suit jacket.’
    • ‘The new way to wear navy blue is to make sure it is very dark and styled with a contemporary flourish.’
    • ‘He was wearing a blue baseball cap and a navy blue tracksuit jacket that was unzipped.’
    • ‘School uniform was navy blue with a red blouse for the girls and a white shirt with a red tie for the boys.’
    • ‘He wore white trainers, dark blue jeans and a navy blue hooded top.’
    • ‘I put my face gently against his chest and wept openly onto his dark navy blue shirt.’
    • ‘Orders are now being taken for all sizes and are available in navy blue and black.’
    • ‘She had medium-length straight dark hair and wore a navy blue sweater and dark trousers.’
    • ‘Derek stood there, wearing a navy and white striped shirt and khaki pants.’
    • ‘The choices were a black pant suit, a navy blue skirt suit, and a dark grey pant suit.’
    • ‘She had changed out of her gray traveling suit into her simple navy blue skirt and blouse.’
    • ‘He was wearing dark riding breeches, which were either a very dark navy blue, or black.’
    • ‘She smoothed her navy blue plaid uniform skirt and hugged her jacket around herself tightly.’
    • ‘He was wearing a navy blue suit complete with a black tie and carried a small canvas bag.’
    • ‘She was also wearing a navy and white zip-up tracksuit top and round gold earrings.’
    • ‘Elegant but not beautiful, she was dressed in a floppy grey top and lightweight navy-blue trousers.’
    • ‘The rug was navy blue and the walls were painted white with a blue border.’
    • ‘The girls are all demurely dressed in pleated navy blue skirts with pale blue and white sailor tops.’
    • ‘She suggests brownish black, or navy blue, which enhances the whites of your eyes.’
    navy blue, dark blue, indigo, midnight blue, ink blue
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘ships collectively, fleet’): from Old French navie ship, fleet, from popular Latin navia ship, from Latin navis ship.

Pronunciation:

navy

/ˈneɪvi/