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[ney-vuh l] /ˈneɪ vəl/
of or relating to warships:
a naval battle; naval strength.
of or relating to ships of all kinds:
naval architecture; naval engineer.
belonging to, pertaining to, or connected with a navy:
naval affairs.
possessing a navy:
the great naval powers.
Origin of naval
1585-95; < Latin nāvālis, equivalent to nāv(is) ship + -ālis -al1
Related forms
navally, adverb
nonnaval, adjective
prenaval, adjective
pronaval, adjective
Can be confused
knave, naval, nave (see synonym study at knave)
naval, navel.
naval, nautical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for naval
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We now loaded with naval stores, and cleared again for Liverpool.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • Now, the Government of Quebec is neither a naval nor a military power.

    The Hunted Outlaw Anonymous
  • He was a naval officer, and he had brought me a sailor who had been wounded at the fort of Ivry.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Madden realized he was seeing what every landsman dreams of seeing: a naval battle.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • naval activity in the northern waters of Europe did not abate.

British Dictionary definitions for naval


of, relating to, characteristic of, or having a navy
of or relating to ships; nautical
Word Origin
C16: from Latin nāvālis, from nāvis ship; related to Greek naus, Old Norse nōr ship, Sanskrit nau
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 naval

early 15c., from Old French naval (14c.) and directly from Latin navalis "pertaining to a ship or ships," from navis "ship," from PIE *nau- "boat" (cf. Sanskrit nauh, accusative navam "ship, boat;" Armenian nav "ship;" Greek naus "ship," nautes "sailor;" Old Irish nau "ship;" Welsh noe "a flat vessel;" Old Norse nor "ship"). An Old English word for "naval" was scipherelic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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