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general quarters

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noun (used with a singular verb) Military.
  1. a condition of readiness for combat on a warship, during which crew members remain at their battle stations and have guns and ammunition ready for immediate loading.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for general quarters

Historical Examples

  • When the general-quarters call was sounded, all took their stations at the guns for fighting the ship.

    Two Boys of the Battleship

    Frank V. Webster

  • These drills were collision, fire-quarters, general-quarters, and clearing ship for action.