One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A motorboat equipped with torpedoes and used by the military, especially during World War II.
- ‘Along the edges of the convoys sailed a variety of ships: graceful sloops, chunky corvettes, slim gunboats like the Dutch Soemba, antisubmarine patrol craft, fast PT boats, and everywhere sleek destroyers.’
- ‘Though the PT boat's trio of 1500 horsepower Higgins engines were well past their prime, the Legless Lilly managed a respectable cruising speed of twenty knots.’
- ‘Serving in small plywood craft much like the more famous American PT boats, the Coastal Forces wreaked havoc with Axis forces in British and foreign waters.’
- ‘Looking like larger versions of the American PT boats that cruised the South Seas in the Second World War, Singapore's patrol craft guard the trade on which the island-state's prosperity depends.’
- ‘For the wooden PT boat, with its relatively large and unprotected fuel tanks, the result was predictable.’
1940s: from P(atrol) T(orpedo) boat.
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