Definition of tanker in English:



  • 1A ship, road vehicle, or aircraft for carrying liquids, especially mineral oils, in bulk.

    ‘the dockyards are used mainly for the repair of oil tankers’
    • ‘The driver was unaware the load was leaking and was only stopped by police as the tanker approached the slip road at junction 5 of the M65, several miles away.’
    • ‘According to a log sheet found at the scene, the tanker was carrying 8000 litres of 97 octane fuel and 18600 litres of diesoline.’
    • ‘In other places, water is delivered by tankers and stored in tanks in gardens or on roofs, or is pumped into homes from deep-water wells.’
    • ‘It is estimated that more than 2,000 tonnes of oil is lost to the country ever day – the equivalent of more than 150 road tankers.’
    • ‘Exporters liquefy the gas and ship it in tankers, then convert it back to gas at U.S. ports and deliver it through pipelines.’
    • ‘In July it reported three attempted boardings in less than a week, with pirates firing automatic weapons at two gas tankers and an oil tanker.’
    • ‘Shipbuilders produced almost 6,000 combatant vessels, cargo ships, tankers, and minor types of vessels during the conflict.’
    • ‘The blockade prevented about three to four ships, including tankers, from using the shipping lane, which is one of the busiest in the country.’
    • ‘A seemingly endless line of petrol tankers cruises along the road, their drivers smiling at us as we speed by.’
    • ‘The river is huge with big cargo-carrying ships and tankers designed for the ocean moving up and down river all the day and night.’
    • ‘Navy ships armed with missiles and machine guns now escort high value merchant vessels, such as cruise ships and tankers.’
    • ‘A rogue ‘mother ship’ might follow a tanker or cargo ship out from port, and then send a fleet of powerboats to attack it in the middle of the night.’
    • ‘One lane of a motorway interchange will remain closed for up to two days after the smash yesterday in which a tanker carrying hot bitumen came off an M60 slip road and landed on a roundabout, hitting two cars and a lorry.’
    • ‘A further boarding party from Portland then arrived to check that the tanker was carrying the cargo of water specified on her manifest.’
    • ‘Not only was little attention paid to the production of essential ships such as tankers and ocean freighters, but little attempt was made to stimulate the overall growth of the economy.’
    • ‘Instead, they buy oil from producers, line up buyers to refine it, and charter tankers to ship it.’
    • ‘Data collection took place primarily on an opportunistic basis, typically on-board ice-breakers, naval tankers, cargo ships and other vessels, or from coastal vantage points.’
    • ‘His neighbour describes the scene: ‘I looked out of the window and I saw the tanker coming down the road,’ she says.’
    • ‘The rumble of fighters, tankers, reconnaissance aircraft and transports taking off became familiar sounds.’
    • ‘Many tankers, cargo ships, and other vessels use so-called bunker oil as fuel, which contains large amounts of sulfur while the use of slow-speed engines also results in relatively high emissions of nitrogen oxides.’
  • 2US informal A member of the crew of a military tank.


[with object]
  • Transport (a liquid) in a tanker.

    ‘fresh, clean wine had to be tankered up to the capital for bottling’
    • ‘We've gotten some schooling materials in so the kids could finish their exams, and we're still tankering in water.’
    • ‘Contractual shipments of crude oil that had been tankered in from the Soviet Union no longer arrived in Cuba after 1991, and by the next year the Cuban economy was importing and utilizing only around 10% of the crude oil that it had been importing prior to the collapse.’
    • ‘The clean-up operation took weeks to complete, with pollutants having to be tankered away for specialist disposal.’
    • ‘Emergency water supplies are being tankered twice daily to Shapinsay to top up the island's diminishing supplies.’
    • ‘If you need water quickly in a quantity or location that your everyday supply set-up can't provide for, we can tanker water to you using our fleet of vehicles specifically designed for this purpose.’
    • ‘You know, there are certain weight requirements and restrictions for aircraft when they're landing, this plane had not only all the fuel to get to Denver, but in addition we were tankering fuel back from L.A., because of the cheaper fuel costs there.’
    • ‘All wash down water including sewage will be collected by a collection chamber and tankered off site for landspreading by a licence contractor.’