noun Nautical.

a galley having two banks or tiers of oars.

Origin of bireme

1590–1600; < Latin birēmis two-oared, having two banks of oars (bi- bi-1 + rēm(us) oar + -is adj. suffix) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for bireme

tender, dinghy, rowboat, galleon, trireme, bireme, galiot, galleass

Examples from the Web for bireme

Historical Examples of bireme

  • As the bireme struck the high waves King Hiram advanced to the prow.

    A King of Tyre

    James M. Ludlow

  • The ‘bireme,’ or two-banked vessel, does not appear in Homer.


    W. B. Woodgate

  • A military boat called the "bireme" came into use in Greece about six or seven centuries before Christ.

  • It is probable that the Greeks did not originate the bireme, but borrowed the idea from the Phœnicians or possibly from Egypt.

  • Soon they tacked far to the north, and, rounding to the west, crossed the bows of the bireme of Herodotus.

    A King of Tyre

    James M. Ludlow

British Dictionary definitions for bireme



an ancient galley having two banks of oars

Word Origin for bireme

C17: from Latin birēmus, from bi- 1 + -rēmus oar
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