See more synonyms for cruiser on
  1. a person or thing that cruises.
  2. one of a class of warships of medium tonnage, designed for high speed and long cruising radius.
  3. squad car.
  4. a vessel, especially a power-driven one, intended for cruising.
  5. cabin cruiser.
  6. Also called timber cruiser. a person who estimates the value of the timber in a tract of forest.
  7. Slang. a prostitute who walks the street soliciting customers.

Origin of cruiser

1670–80; < Dutch kruiser, equivalent to kruis(en) to cruise + -er -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cruiser


  1. a high-speed, long-range warship of medium displacement, armed with medium calibre weapons or missiles
  2. Also called: cabin cruiser a pleasure boat, esp one that is power-driven and has a cabin
  3. any person or thing that cruises
  4. boxing cruiserweightSee light heavyweight
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 cruiser

1670s, agent noun from cruise (v.), or, probably, borrowed from similar words in neighboring languages (e.g. Dutch kruiser, French croiseur), originally a warship built to cruise and protect commerce or chase hostile ships (but in 18c. often applied to privateers); meaning "one who cruises for sex partners" is from 1903, in later use mostly of homosexuals; as a boxing weight class, from 1920; meaning "police patrol car" is 1929, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper