• 1often the navy" or "the NavyThe branch of a nation's armed services that conducts military operations at sea.

    • ‘He had left the navy in disgrace after an affair with a young girl.’
    • ‘Born in Scotland, Jones enlisted in the British merchant navy at the age of thirteen.’
    • ‘He said that members of the British merchant navy were civilians and had no military status.’
    • ‘Coventry has been linked with Her Majesty's navy since 1658.’
    • ‘There were also brochures from the different sections of the military: the navy, army, marines, etc.’
    • ‘According to the conscription law, those in the army must serve three years, while those in the navy and air force serve four.’
    • ‘Everybody I know joined the army, navy, air force, marines or coast guard.’
    • ‘Shortly after the operation got under way, the North Korean navy reacted with surprise and precision.’
    • ‘At the same time we have deployed our navy to harass and turn away boats.’
    • ‘The completion date for the navy's nuclear-powered submarine was postponed several times, from 1995 to 2010.’
    • ‘In 1992 three female navy veterans applied for admission to the daytime veterans' program.’
    • ‘In its more than 300-year history, the Russian navy has given rise to many glorious professional traditions.’
    • ‘During that period Spain had the most powerful navy in the world.’
    • ‘He dropped out of a New Jersey university in his third year to join the US navy.’
    • ‘For all practical purposes, the Japanese navy had ceased to exist as an organized fighting force.’
    • ‘Despite his harrowing moments, Jennings said he never thought about leaving the navy.’
    • ‘Hundreds of the missiles are slated to be produced for the navy - the only branch of the military which has until now shown interest in purchasing the new weapons system.’
    • ‘Anti-aircraft missiles were on standby and the Spanish navy was also patrolling the seaside city.’
    • ‘The incident happened in waters where the navy was conducting a massive sonar exercise.’
    • ‘Britain had the world's most powerful navy and a small army.’
    • ‘An Italian navy ship dropped rescue vessels into the water.’
    • ‘This problem extends into all branches of the Canadian Armed Forces: the navy, the air force and army.’
    1. 1.1 The ships of a navy.
      ‘we built their navy’
      ‘a 600-ship navy’
      • ‘It gives the audience a gritty, detailed, and carefully researched view of daily life and deadly combat aboard a ship of Nelson's navy.’
      • ‘America was just starting to build a navy that could compete with other world powers.’
      • ‘Ships were built both to modernize the navy and to catch the overflow of trade.’
      • ‘Similarly, the U.S. Navy that entered World II was, first and foremost, a battleship navy.’
      • ‘In the Second World War carriers replaced battleships as the capital ships of modern navies because aircraft could perform the functions of naval guns more effectively.’
      • ‘An edict was issued to this effect and by 1636, France had a navy of nearly 40 ships.’
      • ‘The U.S. Pacific Fleet does not have overwhelming size with respect to other navies in the region.’
      • ‘Some English ships attempt to fight but are no match for the superior ships of the Indian navy.’
      • ‘Richelieu also worked off of the logic that a major European power needed a navy to survive and to protect any expanding merchant fleet.’
      • ‘The Dutch became the leading naval power of the 17th century by assembling provincial, local, and private fleets into a national navy.’
      • ‘The Queen of Sheba gave him a great amount of gold and he built a navy.’
      • ‘The navy consisted of twenty ships at the maximum and about ten were supply and merchant ships.’
      • ‘In the Black Sea the aim was to construct a fleet one and a half times bigger than the combined navies of the three other Black Sea states.’
      • ‘By the beginning of the twentieth century, the United States was also a maritime power, possessing a sizeable merchant fleet and navy.’
      • ‘In the pre-war period Italy also began to build a modern navy.’
      • ‘No ship in Victoria's navy was as well supplied with wine, pickles, and preserves as Challenger.’
    2. 1.2literary A fleet of ships.
      fleet, flotilla, armada, naval force, naval task force, squadron
      View synonyms
  • 2A dark blue color.

    as modifier ‘a navy-blue suit’
    • ‘She had changed out of her gray traveling suit into her simple navy blue skirt and blouse.’
    • ‘The new way to wear navy blue is to make sure it is very dark and styled with a contemporary flourish.’
    • ‘School uniform was navy blue with a red blouse for the girls and a white shirt with a red tie for the boys.’
    • ‘He wore white trainers, dark blue jeans and a navy blue hooded top.’
    • ‘She smoothed her navy blue plaid uniform skirt and hugged her jacket around herself tightly.’
    • ‘I fished a crumpled copy of my class schedule from my navy suit jacket.’
    • ‘The rug was navy blue and the walls were painted white with a blue border.’
    • ‘The girls are all demurely dressed in pleated navy blue skirts with pale blue and white sailor tops.’
    • ‘He was wearing a blue baseball cap and a navy blue tracksuit jacket that was unzipped.’
    • ‘He was wearing dark riding breeches, which were either a very dark navy blue, or black.’
    • ‘His father, with an air of exhaustion, wore a navy blazer and pale green shirt and tie.’
    • ‘She was also wearing a navy and white zip-up tracksuit top and round gold earrings.’
    • ‘He was wearing a navy blue suit complete with a black tie and carried a small canvas bag.’
    • ‘She suggests brownish black, or navy blue, which enhances the whites of your eyes.’
    • ‘She had medium-length straight dark hair and wore a navy blue sweater and dark trousers.’
    • ‘The choices were a black pant suit, a navy blue skirt suit, and a dark grey pant suit.’
    • ‘I put my face gently against his chest and wept openly onto his dark navy blue shirt.’
    • ‘Elegant but not beautiful, she was dressed in a floppy grey top and lightweight navy-blue trousers.’
    • ‘Derek stood there, wearing a navy and white striped shirt and khaki pants.’
    • ‘Orders are now being taken for all sizes and are available in navy blue and black.’
    navy blue, dark blue, indigo, midnight blue, ink blue
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘ships collectively, fleet’): from Old French navie ‘ship, fleet’, from popular Latin navia ‘ship’, from Latin navis ‘ship’.