Definition of corvette in US English:



  • 1A small warship designed for convoy escort duty.

    • ‘Navy destroyers and corvettes patrolled the sea lanes and pursued enemy craft that aircraft could not engage.’
    • ‘The corvette design includes capacity for the future installation of mine warfare systems.’
    • ‘The troop carrying convoy would then sail from southern English ports protected by an escort of frigates and corvettes.’
    • ‘The convoy was protected by three destroyers, a minesweeper, two corvettes and a trawler as it left Scotland.’
    • ‘The ministry is trying to purchase naval ships ranging from petrol boats to corvettes and even frigates.’
    • ‘The first ship on the scene was the Danish corvette Triton, but the vessel needed to make passage for the Faeroes and could not escort the trawler all the way to safety.’
    • ‘Considering the above, we estimate that a sufficient combination of the corvette and frigate class of ships is likely to be the one where there is not less than one ship per each 100 kilometers of the border.’
    • ‘At the cessation of hostilities the corvette was based at Hong Kong for minesweeping and patrol duties.’
    • ‘Returning to my stint as a nautical custodian, I drew near to the merchantman, at which point the status bar in the HUD was updated, warning of inbound enemy ships - four corvettes and two destroyer escorts.’
    • ‘The convoy's 64 ships were initially protected by one RCN destroyer and three corvettes; two additional corvettes joined while the convoy was under attack by at least eight submarines.’
    • ‘A stealth corvette of the YS 2000 design has a detection range of 13 km in rough seas and 22 km in calm sea without jamming.’
    • ‘It is huge, encompassing the navy's shipyard, where three 1,200-ton corvettes are being laid down.’
    • ‘The corvettes, released from their missile defense duties, surged forward to engage the renegade cruisers at point blank range.’
    • ‘The player will often see the old Dreadnaught class corvette acting as escort to a convoy.’
    • ‘In the distance, far away behind the battle was the approaching carrier and its corvette escort.’
    • ‘Cabinet announces it will go ahead with the purchase of aircraft, helicopters, corvettes and submarines.’
    • ‘Retief said one of the challenges facing the navy was the acceptance into service of the four new corvettes and the three submarines procured as part of the arms deal.’
    • ‘However, I believe the Captain mellowed when he found that the four corvettes would carry out patrol duties up the White Sea.’
    • ‘These were to include a close escort of six destroyers, four corvettes, three minesweepers, four armed trawlers and two ack-ack ships.’
    • ‘Instead of two British ships for escorts - a destroyer and a corvette - only the corvette made it after the destroyer was damaged in a collision leaving port.’
    1. 1.1historical A sailing warship with one tier of guns.


Mid 17th century: from French, from Dutch korf, denoting a kind of ship, + the diminutive suffix -ette.