- the largest organized unit of naval ships grouped for tactical or other purposes.
- the largest organization of warships under the command of a single officer.
- a number of naval vessels or vessels carrying armed crew members.
- a large group of ships, airplanes, trucks, etc., operated by a single company or under the same ownership: He owns a fleet of cabs.
- a large group of airplanes, automobiles, etc., moving or operating together.
Origin of fleet1
- swift; rapid: to be fleet of foot; a fleet horse.
- to move swiftly; fly.
- Nautical. to change position; shift.
- to glide along like a stream.
- to fade; vanish.
- Obsolete. to float; drift; swim.
- to cause (time) to pass lightly or swiftly.
- to move or change the position of.
- to separate the blocks of (a tackle).
- to lay (a rope) along a deck.
Origin of fleet2
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- an arm of the sea; inlet.
- a creek; stream; watercourse.
- the Fleet, a former prison in London, long used for debtors.
Origin of fleet3
Related Wordsspeedy, armada, navy, squadron, flotilla, rapid, brisk, flying, fast, swift, barreling, winged, screaming, formation, line, argosy, vessels, tonnage, agile, breakneck
Examples from the Web for fleet
The player starts out with a fleet of three or four ships (depending on the machine), which he operates one at a time.‘Asteroids’ & The Dawn of the Gamer Age
November 29, 2014
The company also converts the gas into a liquid fuel that can run vehicles in its fleet.
Waste Management, the large disposal company, has turned its landfills into a fleet of power producers.
In 2015, Monster Jam will have a fleet of eight female drivers.The Moms of Monster Jam Drive Trucks, Buck Macho Culture
November 22, 2014
Russia is also working on new a fleet of ballistic missile submarines, attack submarines to operate under the ice caps.Russia Preps Its North Pole Invasion
November 8, 2014
They were distributed among the captains of the fleet for transportation to Athens.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
That's what you'd become if you were to stay in Fleet Street.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
There we knew we should find the army, and might get tidings of the fleet.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
One thousand of the best men in the fleet were sent to assist in the siege.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
With these steeds, so well fitted for hunting, were twelve sleek, fleet hounds.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
- a number of warships organized as a tactical unit
- all the warships of a nation
- a number of aircraft, ships, buses, etc, operating together or under the same ownership
- rapid in movement; swift
- poetic fleeting; transient
- (intr) to move rapidly
- (intr) archaic to fade away smoothly; glide
- (tr) nautical
- to change the position of (a hawser)
- to pass (a messenger or lead) to a hawser from a winch for hauling in
- to spread apart (the blocks of a tackle)
- (intr) obsolete to float or swim
- (tr) obsolete to cause (time) to pass rapidly
- mainly Southeast English a small coastal inlet; creek
- a stream that formerly ran into the Thames between Ludgate Hill and Fleet Street and is now a covered sewer
- Also called: Fleet Prison (formerly) a London prison, esp used for holding debtors
Word Origin and History for fleet
Old English fleot "ship, raft, floating vessel," from fleotan "to float" (see fleet (v.)). Sense of "naval force" is pre-1200. The Old English word also meant "creek, inlet, flow of water," especially one into the Thames near Ludgate Hill, which lent its name to Fleet Street (home of newspaper and magazine houses, standing for "the English press" since 1882), Fleet prison, etc.
"swift," 1520s, but probably older than the record; apparently from or cognate with Old Norse fliotr "swift," and from the root of fleet (v.)). Related: Fleetness.
Old English fleotan "to float, drift, flow, swim, sail," later (c.1200) "to flow," from Proto-Germanic *fleut- (cf. Old Frisian fliata, Old Saxon fliotan "to flow," Old High German fliozzan "to float, flow," German flieszen "to flow," Old Norse fliota "to float, flow"), from PIE root *pleu- "to flow, run, swim" (see pluvial).
Meaning "to glide away like a stream, vanish imperceptibly" is from c.1200; hence "to fade, to vanish" (1570s). Related: Fleeted; fleeting.