Definition of gunboat in US English:



  • A small, fast ship mounting guns, for use in shallow coastal waters and rivers.

    • ‘Handy, a trials gunboat built in 1883, is thought to be one of the last surviving genuine gunboats in British waters.’
    • ‘A total of 110,000 security personnel will be on duty at the Games, with airspace around venues tightly guarded and navy gunboats patrolling the waters around the city.’
    • ‘These colonial naval forces consisted in the main of torpedo boats, gunboats and other small craft.’
    • ‘It was decided that the Royal Marine Commando, which had been in the force from the outset, was to land in fast gunboats and motor boats after the main force had gone in.’
    • ‘Much slower to accelerate than fighters or gunboats, capital ships rely on their powerful shield arcs, point defense networks, and fighter cover for protection.’
    • ‘The four cruisers and two gunboats of the Caribbean Squadron awaited them there.’
    • ‘Time and time again uncompleted ironclads and wooden gunboats had to be destroyed to prevent their capture.’
    • ‘He said two military gunboats were dispatched to waters near Malaysia and undercover police sent to various ports in the southern Philippines to intercept the abductors.’
    • ‘The Kazakhstani fleet amounts to fewer than ten patrol vessels and gunboats, manned by around 150 sailors.’
    • ‘The rebels stormed the naval port in boats packed with explosives and rammed a navy gunboat and another high speed craft used to transport troops, local officials said by telephone.’
    • ‘These cannons have different weapons load outs than the ones used aboard capital ships and gunboats because they are the primary weapons.’
    • ‘Originally intended as motor gunboats for convoy escort, they were converted to torpedo boats while under construction.’
    • ‘He confirmed that Royal Navy gunboats will patrol British waters on the hunt for illegal refugees and asylum seekers.’
    • ‘The Liberal government anchored gunboats in the River Mersey and sent 7,000 troops to the city.’
    • ‘Ships, from small flea-like fighters to gunboats, corvettes and super-battlecruisers are appropriately sized.’
    • ‘The Polish Navy consisted of four destroyers, five submarines, two gunboats, a mine-layer and six mine sweepers - which meant that any German attack from the sea could not be repulsed.’
    • ‘The gunboat has been under water for several years, but there isn't really any life on it.’
    • ‘The Gloria moved into position among the other redemption class ships, or gunboats based on the original design of the man-o-war of the British Armada.’
    • ‘The South, seriously deficient in shipbuilding facilities, machine shops, and mills capable of rolling iron plate, still managed to put scores of gunboats on the western rivers.’
    • ‘His latest assignment is to the U.S.S. San Pablo, a gunboat prowling the rivers of China in an effort to keep American interests safe from the indigenous people.’