Definition of cruiser in US English:



  • 1A relatively fast warship larger than a destroyer and less heavily armed than a battleship.

    • ‘A carrier strike group typically contains an aircraft carrier and other vessels such as destroyers and cruisers that protect it.’
    • ‘Seven battleships, six cruisers and several torpedo boats steamed among the trawlers.’
    • ‘At sea, he served in a battleship, an aircraft carrier, in cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and a minesweeper.’
    • ‘Battlecruisers are the size of battleships but more lightly armoured, so they have the speed of a cruiser.’
    • ‘The combined German naval force for this attack was fifteen battleships, thirteen cruisers and seventy-one destroyers, whose principal task was to guard the larger ships against British submarines.’
    • ‘The government ploughed funds into four new battleships, two aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines, with much of the work going to the Clyde.’
    • ‘A typical carrier battle group consists of an aircraft carrier, a cruiser, two destroyers, an attack submarine, and a fast combat support ship.’
    • ‘A further 17 aircraft carriers, six battleships, 16 cruisers and 56 destroyers were also tasked in support.’
    • ‘Officers who had for years aspired to command destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers likely did not relish the thought of becoming truck drivers.’
    • ‘Out in front were the destroyers, cruisers and battleships and behind moved the concentration of troop and supply ships.’
    • ‘The British had recommended that steel be diverted from the construction of battleships and heavy cruisers to convoy escorts and landing craft.’
    • ‘I like the ships of the Navy, nervous darting destroyers, sleek cruisers, majestic battle ships, steady solid carriers and secretive submarines.’
    • ‘He could see a massive row of cruisers and destroyers, accompanied by a single battleship.’
    • ‘On the way out to sea for exercises they clattered past lines of battleships and cruisers, from whose sparkling decks immaculate officers looked down on them with disdain.’
    • ‘Looking down from deck level, pipes could be seen running the length of the ship, confirming that these early light cruisers were designed for raiding rather than lengthy campaigns.’
    • ‘Up front, just behind the spearhead of mine sweepers, battleships and cruisers, were the command ships, the attack transports bristling with radar and radio antennae.’
    • ‘The many battleships, cruisers and transport ships which were bombed or torpedoed during the war have now become coral-encrusted artificial reefs, attracting schools of fish, sharks and manta rays.’
    • ‘Hour after hour and day after day through the convoy years, admirals watched cruisers, destroyers, even carriers and battle-ships stricken and sinking around them - as well as the precious merchantmen.’
    • ‘At sea are five giant aircraft carriers, four of which have their own battle fleets of destroyers, cruisers and submarines, totalling 25 ships.’
  • 2A yacht or motorboat with passenger accommodations, designed for leisure use.

    ‘a pleasure cruiser’
    • ‘Many cruisers from neighboring islands who congregated in its marinas for safe haven found themselves in the bull's eye of a Category 4 storm.’
    • ‘Some board sleek white yachts and luxury cruisers, while others crowd onto lumbering, hooting ferries or the faster yellow and blue hydrofoils called Flying Dolphins.’
    • ‘The burning ship soon attracted the attention of other vessels and a flotilla of fishing vessels, pleasure cruisers and jet skis turned up to help.’
    • ‘Several years ago, while anchored out of the channel with the required navigational lights lit, my family and I were almost run down by a party boat dinner cruiser.’
    • ‘If you look, you can find a few stores for basics, although most cruisers get things shipped in.’
    • ‘With few exceptions, noticeably the larger and more expensive inboard cruisers, new boat sales have been on a steady downward trend for more than a decade.’
    • ‘The harbour has both a commercial quayside and marina which was crowded with expensive yachts and cruisers.’
    • ‘Future surveys are expected to include a greater range of boat models, including cruisers and personal watercraft.’
    • ‘During the summer months the harbourmaster is responsible for more than 2000 moorings and has to deal with hundreds of day-sailors, big yachts and motor cruisers from all over Europe.’
    • ‘More and more cruisers and pleasure boats have been berthed along the banks of the canal in the village and the effect has resulted in a boost for local businesses.’
    • ‘At the weekends, yachts and cruisers of all sizes criss-cross the blue water.’
    • ‘Customers range from commercial fishermen to live-aboard cruisers and most boats have been built to meet the buyer's specific requirements.’
    • ‘About twice a month the coast road floods and the tide comes up to the door of this wooden shed, which doubles as fishmonger and impromptu lunch venue looking out over the fishing boats and pleasure cruisers.’
    • ‘The event is unusual because boats from cruisers to small dinghies compete and on the first day gruelling conditions in Force 4 to 5, with stronger gusts, tested every boat and many of the safety crews to the limit.’
    • ‘One of his jobs is to provide the diesel fuel that visiting cruisers need because there is no diesel service at the marina.’
    • ‘There are also private charters available aboard sailing yachts and luxury cruisers.’
    • ‘Scores of river pilots banished from the Humber and stripped of their navigation licences are back at the helms of vessels all over the world - guiding ferries, pleasure cruisers and even millionaires' yachts.’
    • ‘Since then, the company has expanded its survey to include all types of boats, from cruisers to wake boards, as well as engines.’
    • ‘Over the course of three years, more than 50 young unemployed people in the town acquired various skills in order to restore and convert the barge into a passenger cruiser.’
    • ‘And though it is no longer the bustling resort of those heady days, it is still very much a vacation centred place, much loved as a stopping-off point for the legion of small yachts and cruisers which ply this beautiful coast.’
    1. 2.1 A person who goes on a pleasure cruise.
      • ‘She wrote with concern about the lack of accommodations for the cruisers who are hard-of-hearing.’
      • ‘A fisherman will likely consider the accommodations downright luxurious while a cruiser will find them a little short on privacy.’
      • ‘After over 60 cruises she decided to compile her expertise in an e-book to share with other cruiser, first timers or seasoned cruisers.’
  • 3North American A police patrol car.

    • ‘Across the street was the police station where a cruiser abruptly pulled up.’
    • ‘In the 1990s, a few police agencies embraced the capability to see at night and to locate people with thermal imagers by installing systems on helicopters, and later on the top of police cruisers.’
    • ‘He left the Institute with the two police officers in a police cruiser.’
    • ‘In one hand, clenched in his fist, was the key to his police cruiser.’
    • ‘Nor do his deputies have bulletproof vests or computer terminals for their patrol cars, which are common in big-city police cruisers to call up information on suspects.’
    • ‘Two police cruisers, lights flashing, sat near the main entrance.’
    • ‘I waited a minute or two and looked for a police cruiser; nothing.’
    • ‘Nicolas pulled up close behind them just as several more police cruisers, lights flashing and sirens blaring, screamed to a halt in front of the house.’
    • ‘And a lot of police officers are jumping in their police cruisers and going down there to help.’
    • ‘Karen was a little worried about being left alone, but the knowledge of the patrolling police cruisers calmed her down.’
    • ‘Four police cruisers responded to the call within a few minutes.’
    • ‘A number of police cruisers screeched to a halt and formed a barrier for other officers to use as cover.’
    • ‘The arresting officer was obliged to carry or drag her to his police cruiser and a female colleague was dispatched to the scene to assist him.’
    • ‘Then he got into his police cruiser and drove off.’
    • ‘The trial judge was alert to the conflict in the evidence as to what took place after the appellant exited his vehicle and arrived at the police cruiser.’
    • ‘As the ‘ice cream’ truck advanced, I saw that it was trailed by two police cruisers, racing along as escort sentries.’
    • ‘They quickly covered the distance from the barricade to the sedan, weaving around police cruisers and unconsciously avoiding all officers.’
    • ‘He was arrested at 4: 45 p.m., handcuffed and placed in the back of the police cruiser.’
    1. 3.1US An automobile that can be driven smoothly at high speed.
      • ‘Even though GM built the XLR on the Corvette chassis, it's more of a smooth-riding cruiser than a sports car.’
      • ‘The cruiser sped along the highway under the evening sky.’


Late 17th century: from Dutch kruiser, from kruisen (see cruise).