- a small, armed warship of light draft, used in ports where the water is shallow.
- any small ship carrying mounted guns.
Origin of gunboat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for gunboat
Their gunboat Marmaris was sunk, and the transport Masul captured.
She witnessed the first embarkation in a gunboat at Sheerness.The Last Voyage
Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
It was a swordfish and he resembled a gunboat with purple outriggers.Tales of Fishes
The 'Langford' knocked out the gunboat 'Smith' in three rounds.
At a signal from the brig, made by waving a flag on the forecastle, the gunboat was stopped.'Twixt Land & Sea
- 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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper