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[kawr-vet] /kɔrˈvɛt/
a warship of the old sailing class, having a flush deck and usually one tier of guns.
a lightly armed, fast ship used mostly for convoy escort and ranging in size between a destroyer and a gunboat.
Also, corvet
[kawr-vet, kawr-vet] /kɔrˈvɛt, ˈkɔr vɛt/ (Show IPA)
Origin of corvette
1630-40; < French, Middle French < Middle Dutch corver pursuit boat (derivative of corf fishing boat, literally, basket), with suffix altered to -ette -ette Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for corvette
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When my brother was here in the corvette, he found her for me.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • If you like you can return to Lisbon in the corvette; you will be there before us.'

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • The document was an order to take the acting command of the corvette.

    The Grateful Indian W.H.G. Kingston
  • He hoped to do something before the corvette had to return home.

    The Grateful Indian W.H.G. Kingston
  • The latter began firing as soon as her guns could reach the corvette.

    The Grateful Indian W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for corvette


a lightly armed escort warship
Word Origin
C17: from Old French, perhaps from Middle Dutch corf basket, small ship, from Latin corbis basket
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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Word Origin and History for corvette

1630s, also corvet, from French corvette "small, fast frigate" (15c.), perhaps from Middle Dutch korver "pursuit ship," or Middle Low German korf meaning both a kind of boat and a basket, or from Latin corbita (navis) "slow-sailing ship of burden, grain ship" from corbis "basket" (Gamillscheg is against this). The U.S. sports car was so named September 1952, after the warship, on a suggestion by Myron Scott, employee of Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet's advertising agency. Italian corvetta, Spanish corbeta are French loan-words.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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