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[bahy-reem] /ˈbaɪ rim/
noun, Nautical.
a galley having two banks or tiers of oars.
Origin of bireme
1590-1600; < Latin birēmis two-oared, having two banks of oars (bi- bi-1 + rēm(us) oar + -is adj. suffix) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bireme
Historical Examples
  • As the bireme struck the high waves King Hiram advanced to the prow.

    A King of Tyre James M. Ludlow
  • The ‘bireme,’ or two-banked vessel, does not appear in Homer.

    Boating W. B. Woodgate
  • A military boat called the "bireme" came into use in Greece about six or seven centuries before Christ.

  • It is probable that the Greeks did not originate the bireme, but borrowed the idea from the Phœnicians or possibly from Egypt.

  • Soon they tacked far to the north, and, rounding to the west, crossed the bows of the bireme of Herodotus.

    A King of Tyre James M. Ludlow
  • This is proved by another illustration of a bireme on the same vase, in which the steering oars are clearly seen.

    Ancient and Modern Ships. George C. V. Holmes
  • This Greek bireme, with its shallow hull and lofty, open superstructure, could hardy have been a seaworthy vessel.

    Ancient and Modern Ships. George C. V. Holmes
  • The large figures at the stern seem to point to the bireme of Fig. 74 being about to be used for racing purposes.

    Ancient and Modern Ships. George C. V. Holmes
  • In Appendix, p. 157, will be found an account of an eighth-century Greek bireme, recently discovered.

    Ancient and Modern Ships. George C. V. Holmes
British Dictionary definitions for bireme


an ancient galley having two banks of oars
Word Origin
C17: from Latin birēmus, from bi-1 + -rēmus oar
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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