noun (used with a singular verb) Military.
a condition of readiness for combat on a warship, during which crew members remain at their battle stations and have guns and ammunition ready for immediate loading.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for general quarters
When the general-quarters call was sounded, all took their stations at the guns for fighting the ship.
These drills were collision, fire-quarters, general-quarters, and clearing ship for action.