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[mahyn-swee-per] /ˈmaɪnˌswi pər/
noun, Navy.
a specially equipped ship used for dragging a body of water in order to remove or destroy enemy mines.
Origin of minesweeper
First recorded in 1900-05; mine2 + sweeper
Related forms
minesweeping, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mine-sweeper
Historical Examples
  • Right in the course that they had been going the mine-sweeper now blocked the way.

  • We were spotted by a mine-sweeper, and she raced to the rescue.

    Some Naval Yarns Mordaunt Hall
  • Of special interest is the talk with the captain of a mine-sweeper while he is on the bridge of his vessel.

    Some Naval Yarns Mordaunt Hall
  • It was midnight when a British mine-sweeper bore down and hailed.

    The U-boat hunters James B. Connolly
  • He saw the mine bouncing up and down between the mine-sweeper's quarter and his own ship's side.

    The U-boat hunters James B. Connolly
  • Almost our last was what a North Country trawler called a "common sweeper," that is to say, a mine-sweeper.

    Sea Warfare Rudyard Kipling
  • Just before ten o'clock that night the mine-sweeper's blinkers signalled a call to the "Grigsby," then about four miles distant.

  • Have you known of any case in which a mine-sweeper had any show at all against a German destroyer?

  • Every mine-sweeper carried a radio outfit for sending messages.

  • The commander of the mine-sweeper named it, adding the distance he had been ordered to go.

British Dictionary definitions for mine-sweeper


a naval vessel equipped to detect and clear mines
Derived Forms
minesweeping, noun
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 mine-sweeper

1905, from mine (n.2) + agent noun from sweep (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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