Main definitions of ship in English

: ship1ship2

ship1

noun

  • 1A vessel larger than a boat for transporting people or goods by sea.

    • ‘Also, some of the cruise ships that traditionally dock here have left the area now, with their passengers on-board.’
    • ‘The location is a huge container ship docked in an unknown harbour.’
    • ‘They also provide maintenance training for Sailors aboard ships.’
    • ‘They will be joined later this week by 800 Royal Marines on the new helicopter assault ship Ocean, which has set sail with a flotilla of three support ships and a frigate.’
    • ‘A contract has been placed by the Ministry of Defence for two large amphibious landing ships.’
    • ‘They follow ships at sea, feeding on the refuse left in their wakes.’
    • ‘Travelers on board ships sailing from America were not yet foreigners, but they were definitely not at home.’
    • ‘She said the family felt terrible that so many vacationers on board the cruise ship had been frightened and delayed.’
    • ‘There are ships off the coast with humanitarian rations and medicines aboard.’
    • ‘The next level is represented by countries with sufficiently large naval surface ships.’
    • ‘This afternoon at 1:32 p.m. a Canadian cruise ship sailed near our borders.’
    • ‘There was every kind from little boats to huge cargo ships, from dilapidated sailboats to magnificent barges.’
    • ‘A man was arrested yesterday after a five-and-a-half hour siege on a cargo ship off the coast of Scotland.’
    • ‘After leaving the Army, Bill served on board a passenger ship sailing between Southampton and South Africa.’
    • ‘At sea German U-boats were sinking so many merchant ships that Britain was close to starvation.’
    • ‘The packages are just for the sailors and marines aboard ships.’
    • ‘The first two ships to set sail are just days away from British waters.’
    • ‘Returning to Metro had taken him several months of stowing away on cargo ships and transports before finally reaching the city.’
    • ‘In the meantime, officials have cleared cruise ships to leave the port.’
    • ‘This is an international legal requirement for all personnel who work aboard ships, including sailors, officers, captains and engineers.’
    vessel, craft, boat
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A sailing vessel with a bowsprit and three or more square-rigged masts.
      • ‘Harnessed up and clipped on - and on flat water - the task was a different story to how it would have been in the glory days of square-rigged pirate ships, exposed on a rolling sea.’
      • ‘Shipwreck D is so well-preserved that cord tied in a V-shape at the top of the ship's wooden mast is still clearly visible.’
      • ‘In 1727 he won the Grand Prix of the Académie Royale des Sciences for his submission on masts of ships.’
      • ‘He lashed himself to the ship's mast, plugged his crew's ears with wax and ordered them not to look at his face or listen to his commands.’
      • ‘He believed that British shipping was licensed and that the opium ships were vessels which had evaded licensing.’
      • ‘In September 1519 he set sail with five ships and 240 men.’
      • ‘In the early years of sailing ships, the European ships had a square sail design.’
      • ‘How many times as children did we pretend we were the captain of a pirate ship sailing the Spanish Main?’
      • ‘During the Civil War, Confederate ships frequently attacked Union vessels on the high seas.’
      • ‘She stared at the pirate as he leaned up against the fore mast of the ship and grabbed a rope that connected to one of the sails for balance.’
      • ‘Indeed, one of the main reasons for its construction was to prevent Viking ships from sailing unchecked upriver.’
      • ‘Almost 100 lots were sold at the auction including a balloon ride and a trip on a tall sailing ship.’
      • ‘The marines and seamen soon had the pirate ship swept of her inhabitants.’
      • ‘The ceiling was about ten feet high and seemed to reflect the actual sky that hung over the masts of the ship, many stories above.’
      • ‘It was fantastic to see all the ships sails at full mast, it looked like some 18th century sea battle.’
      • ‘All I could think about was my handsome brother dressed as a Mohawk swinging from the mast of the ship and landing on deck like a swashbuckling pirate!’
      • ‘The name St Elmo's fire came about because this type of lightning was first seen by sailors on the masts of ships, and St Elmo is the patron saint of sailors.’
      • ‘She found herself laying on the broken mast of the ship, with white sails and splinters of wood floating lazily around her.’
      • ‘She stood at the bowsprit of the ship, as still as the bolted-down bench she was standing on.’
      • ‘At a young age, Ramona went out on her father's small sloop and learned everything about a ship and sailing.’
    2. 1.2informal Any boat, especially a racing boat.
      • ‘Luxury vessels and midsize ships sail from Vancouver, BC and Seattle.’
      • ‘The air was thick with the smell of the ocean, sailors beginning to untie their ships for mornings of sailing and fishing.’
      • ‘With a beam of 106 ft, the ships are the largest vessels that can fit through the Panama Canal.’
      ocean liner, passenger vessel, boat
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A spaceship.
      • ‘They docked their ships back at the space station.’
      • ‘There were whole armadas of different ships, space stations and planets, no end to the add-ons for your craft and every mission was different.’
      • ‘We're running out of here before that crowd gets to the spaceport and trashes our ship.’
      • ‘The command ship accommodated three astronauts and the lunar lander only two.’
      • ‘Additionally, large alien space ships may orbit Earth.’
      • ‘Fighters kept their gravity well below Earth norm, the standard gravity found on ships and space stations.’
      • ‘Other ships were mineral transports bringing raw materials from the outlying planets of the solar system back to Earth for processing.’
      • ‘The two ships would dock in orbit, and propellants would transfer into the lunar craft.’
      • ‘For her efforts, the combined gunfire from the three ships finished the space station.’
      • ‘The stealthy ship had arrived on the planet several hours before, undetected by the Planetary Defense Grid.’
      • ‘These people kept the ship running, transporting the strange and deadly cargo around the universe.’
      • ‘Fighters will be launched and recovered from space stations and ships.’
      • ‘To launch a ship into higher orbit, or to a distant planet, it must carry more fuel.’
      • ‘Over the course of the game, which is made up of thirteen missions, players will have the opportunity to pilot four different ships with eleven various starship weapons.’
      • ‘For Jameson, the building is like an alien ship, a space capsule.’
      • ‘Similarly, to deal with the intense radiation environment, the ship is equipped with a magnetic shield that they can turn on when needed.’
      • ‘It believes that a circular spaceship carrying 1,500 smaller ships filled with bombs will at some indeterminate point destroy both Britain and America.’
      • ‘He gave mental orders to his staff aboard the command ship in orbit beyond the third moon.’
      • ‘He had been told to expect the ship to re-enter real space sometime in the next hour.’
    4. 1.4North American An aircraft.
      • ‘Clearly, the aircraft was one hot ship and it started piling up victories until tragedy struck at the 1937 Cleveland event.’
      aircraft, craft, flying machine
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • a sinking ship

    • Used in various phrases to describe an organization or endeavor that is failing, usually in the context of criticizing someone for leaving it.

      ‘they have fled like rats from a sinking ship’
      • ‘Given his obvious skills at putting the best face on a sinking ship, surely a role with the National Party would have been more appropriate?’
      • ‘But he got aboard a sinking ship and has had little chance to plug the leaks.’
      • ‘So what makes the captain of a sinking ship so deserving?’
      • ‘They haven't jumped a sinking ship and that's appreciated.’
      • ‘Has he received words of encouragement from friends and the like, or has this been jumping off a sinking ship?’
      • ‘Two months ago, his campaign looked like a sinking ship and today he's probably on the way to the nomination.’
      • ‘The city government cleared out Tuesday night, leaving a sinking ship.’
      • ‘I, on the other hand am not impressed because if we're ever on a sinking ship, my husband is sinking like a rock.’
      • ‘His resignation should shortly follow the elections, paving the way for someone new to come in and rebuild a sinking ship.’
      • ‘I have to think of my future and I don't want to hang around a sinking ship.’
      • ‘The experience that steadied a sinking ship is likely to remain and changes will be implemented with care.’
  • take ship

    • Set off on a voyage by ship; embark.

      ‘finally, he took ship for Boston’
      • ‘Early in 1406 events came to a head when James fled for safety to the Bass Rock, took ship for France, only to be captured at sea and delivered to Henry IV of England.’
      • ‘In 296, with Maximian guarding the Rhine, Constantius and his praetorian prefect, Asclepiodotus, took ship for Britain.’
      • ‘You will then take ship at Krelik and sail down the Spear.’
      • ‘On 17 March 49 B.C., Pompey took ship for Macedonia.’
      • ‘These ambassadors took ship for Norway immediately after the court scene, on 2 November.’
      • ‘The first battle was decisive, in so far as James immediately accepted that his own game was up, and took ship for France.’
      • ‘Without the strong hand of the emperor, the German army began to break up: some returned to Europe, some took ship and sailed to Antioch, and some went overland to Antioch.’
      • ‘And when we had taken our leave one of another, we took ship; and they returned home again.’
      • ‘The army took ship on 5 April, but was struck by catastrophe.’
      • ‘We took ship together to England, to visit the court in London.’
      board ship, go on board, go aboard, climb aboard, step aboard, take ship
      View synonyms
  • that (or the) ship has sailed

    • informal Used in reference to an opportunity that has passed or a situation that can no longer be changed.

      ‘we're good friends but I don't think we'll ever be anything more to each other—that ship has sailed’
      • ‘That ship has sailed, and there is already nuclear waste at various power plants throughout the United States.’
      • ‘That ship has sailed, and Wal-Mart is firmly at the helm.’
      • ‘Well, I still think the art direction is a little too much the style of the books' designer, Seth, as opposed to Charles M. Schulz, but I suppose that ship has sailed.’
      • ‘It's time to accept that the ship has sailed and no matter how hard I chase after it with the world's fastest speedboat I may never catch up.’
      • ‘His smile still makes her melt, but Sarah knows that ship has sailed.’
      • ‘It's great that they can still pull big numbers with this show/format in Brazil and elsewhere, but the ship has sailed in North America.’
      • ‘I think the ship has sailed on my career in a uniform, though once in awhile I joke about being available if the Yankees need another reliever.’
      • ‘"They want us to reopen the case?" "No. That ship has sailed."’
      • ‘And whenever you mention sovereignty now, you will be told: "Oh, that ship has sailed".’
      • ‘The signs were pointing towards Gardner making his return before the end of the month, but that ship has sailed.’
  • when one's ship comes in (or home)

    • When one's fortune is made.

      • ‘Uptown girl, you know I can't afford to buy her pearls, but maybe someday when my ship comes in, she'll understand what kind of guy I am.’
      • ‘The right honourable gentleman opposite is a very naughty man, and he will laugh on the other side of his face when my ship comes in.’
      • ‘I remember hearing my parents talk about how much better life would be when their ship came in, but I never knew whether or not they really expected it to happen.’
      • ‘Even people who were flat broke got in on the action when brokers lent them the money to buy shares, in the belief that when their ship came in, they'd share the ride.’
      • ‘She's the kind of real life gal who'll buy you a beer, let you cry on her shoulder and be the first one to give you a high-five when your ship comes in.’
      • ‘But my worst fear - echoing my elder daughter's prediction that ‘Dad, when your ship comes in you'll be at the airport!’’

Phrasal Verbs

  • ship something out

    • Send (goods) to a distributor or customer, especially by ship.

      • ‘We need to know who they are, and if they are here for the right reasons then we can deal with them, but if they are here for the wrong reasons we need to load them up and ship them out.’
      • ‘They tried to ship the family out of the country to Brazil, took their furniture out of their apartment, wouldn't give it back, wouldn't get their passports and visas.’
      • ‘Assemble a set of blocks and ship it out to the customer.’
      • ‘See how deftly I drop this server crate into the space ably provided by the combination of a slice and rack and how the organisational software automatically ships it out of the warehouse.’
      • ‘It's illegal to bring alcohol into Iran but it's not illegal to ship it out of Iraq.’
      • ‘If the US wants to ship goods out of, say, Houston or Dallas, the shortest, least expensive route is through Mexico to the port of Manzanillo and out to Asia.’
      • ‘But now we build cars in March and start shipping them out in the early part of April, and that really is helpful.’
      • ‘And just to set the stage, it is a dirty bomb that apparently goes off in one of the shipping containers out here at the Los Angeles Harbor.’
      • ‘A week later, the company assembles the ingredients into sauce and ships it out.’
      • ‘With a majority of South Carolina breeders shipping mares out of state, another area of emphasis will be to encourage more in-state breeding.’

Origin

Old English scip (noun), late Old English scipian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch schip and German Schiff.

Pronunciation

ship

/SHip//ʃɪp/

Main definitions of ship in English

: ship1ship2

ship2

noun

informal
  • A romantic pairing between two characters in a fictional series, often one that is supported or portrayed by fans rather than depicted in the series itself.

    ‘the thing that I loved about the Mulder/Scully ship was that we knew so much about their characters’
    • ‘I like to read about ships between fictional characters.’
    • ‘It looks like the Kirk/Spock ship is back in this new clip from Star Trek: Into The Darkness.’
    • ‘In January she dipped into the world of Harry/Draco, and has been writing in that ship ever since.’
    • ‘My fave ships are from shows: Bones, Being Human, True Blood etc.’
    • ‘I'm sure that many will agree with me when I say that Mulder and Scully are the ship to end all ships.’
    • ‘I literally cannot wait until your opinion piece on ships and fan fiction.’
    • ‘This one's for fans of the Draco and Hermione ship.’
    • ‘Their dedication to their ships is scary sometimes.’
    • ‘While some might have welcomed a ship of Tauriel and Legolas, there are still plenty, us included, who disagree.’

Origin

Early 21st century: abbreviation of relationship.

Pronunciation

ship

/SHip//ʃɪp/