- a small, three-masted vessel of the Mediterranean, formerly much used by corsairs, now employed to some extent in commerce.
Origin of xebec
Examples from the Web for xebec
On the 31st of October he gave chase to a xebec trying to get into the harbor.Twelve Naval Captains
Molly Elliot Seawell
One is a polacre, another a xebec, and the third looks like a full-rigged craft; but as she is end on, I can't say for certain.
That big fellow has got twelve on a side, the polacre has eight, and the xebec six, so between them they have fifty-two guns.
Decatur spoke as if he meant what he said, and the officers of the xebec did not want to lose their ears.Stories of Our Naval Heroes
Equivalent to our hermaphrodite, being a small Mediterranean vessel, between a xebec and a felucca.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
zebec or zebeck
- a small three-masted Mediterranean vessel with both square and lateen sails, formerly used by Algerian pirates and later used for commerce
Word Origin and History for xebec
"small three-masted vessel," by 1745, from French chébec, from Italian sciabecco, ultimately from Arabic shabbak "a small warship." Altered by influence of cognate Spanish xabeque, which shows the old way of representing the Spanish sound now spelled -j-.