gunboat

[guhn-boht]

noun

a small, armed warship of light draft, used in ports where the water is shallow.
any small ship carrying mounted guns.

Origin of gunboat

First recorded in 1770–80; gun1 + boat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of gunboat



British Dictionary definitions for gunboat

gunboat

noun

a small shallow-draft vessel carrying mounted guns and used by coastal patrols, etc
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 gunboat

1793, from gun + boat. Gunboat diplomacy is from 1916, originally with reference to Western policies in China.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper