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See more synonyms for battleship on Thesaurus.com
  1. any of a class of warships that are the most heavily armored and are equipped with the most powerful armament.
  2. ship of the line.
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Origin of battleship

An Americanism dating back to 1785–95; battle1 + ship1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for battleship

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was so huge and vast that even the crew of the battleship burst into a cheer.

  • It was the solemn note of a battleship destroyed by its own magazines.

  • A battleship should be at least twice as long as a torpedo-boat destroyer.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats

    Raymond Francis Yates

  • A view of the battleship as it will look in the water is shown in Fig. 31.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats

    Raymond Francis Yates

  • France had accepted the verdict; but now a second battleship was gone.

    The Destroyer

    Burton Egbert Stevenson

British Dictionary definitions for battleship


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper