any of a class of warships that are the most heavily armored and are equipped with the most powerful armament.

Nearby words

  1. battleground,
  2. battlement,
  3. battlements,
  4. battlepiece,
  5. battleplane,
  6. battleship gray,
  7. battlesome,
  8. battleworthy,
  9. battologize,
  10. battology

Origin of battleship

An Americanism dating back to 1785–95; battle1 + ship1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for battleship

British Dictionary definitions for battleship



a heavily armoured warship of the largest type having many large-calibre guns
(formerly) a warship of sufficient size and armament to take her place in the line of battle; ship of the line
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

Word Origin and History for battleship



1794, shortened from line-of-battle ship (1705), one large enough to take part in a main attack (formerly one of 74-plus guns); from battle (n.) + ship (n.). Later in U.S. Navy in reference to a class of ships that carried guns of the largest size. The last was decommissioned in 2006. Battleship-gray as a color is attested from 1916. Fighter and bomber airplanes in World War I newspaper articles were sometimes called battleplanes, but it did not catch on.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper