Definition of fireship in English:



  • A ship loaded with burning material and explosives and set adrift to ignite and blow up an enemy's ships.

    • ‘At this point the English sent in fireships and the Armada scattered in disarray.’
    • ‘The French were badly beaten and when they sought shelter were assailed by fireships and boarding parties.’
    • ‘This enabled the English to disperse his fleet by a fireship attack and strong winds blew it into the North Sea.’
    • ‘The running battle up the Channel was inconclusive, and only the English fireship attack on the Armada's anchorage off Calais broke the stalemate.’
    • ‘On the left of the picture, meanwhile, English fireships set out towards the approaching Armada.’