[ kawr-vet ]
/ kɔrˈvɛt /


a warship of the old sailing class, having a flush deck and usually one tier of guns.
a lightly armed, fast ship used mostly for convoy escort and ranging in size between a destroyer and a gunboat.

Nearby words

  1. coruña, a,
  2. corvallis,
  3. corvee,
  4. corves,
  5. corvet,
  6. corvina,
  7. corvine,
  8. corvisart des marets,
  9. corvisart's facies,
  10. corvo

Also cor·vet [kawr-vet, kawr-vet] /kɔrˈvɛt, ˈkɔr vɛt/.

Origin of corvette

1630–40; < French, Middle French < Middle Dutch corver pursuit boat (derivative of corf fishing boat, literally, basket), with suffix altered to -ette -ette Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for corvette

British Dictionary definitions for corvette


/ (kɔːˈvɛt) /


a lightly armed escort warship

Word Origin for corvette

C17: from Old French, perhaps from Middle Dutch corf basket, small ship, from Latin corbis basket

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 corvette



1630s, also corvet, from French corvette "small, fast frigate" (15c.), perhaps from Middle Dutch korver "pursuit ship," or Middle Low German korf meaning both a kind of boat and a basket, or from Latin corbita (navis) "slow-sailing ship of burden, grain ship" from corbis "basket" (Gamillscheg is against this). The U.S. sports car was so named September 1952, after the warship, on a suggestion by Myron Scott, employee of Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet's advertising agency. Italian corvetta, Spanish corbeta are French loan-words.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper