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gunboat

[guhn-boht]
noun
  1. a small, armed warship of light draft, used in ports where the water is shallow.
  2. any small ship carrying mounted guns.
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Origin of gunboat

First recorded in 1770–80; gun1 + boat
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for gunboats

bucket, jar, bottle, package, canister, frigate, destroyer, corvette, battleship, submarine, gunboat, cutter, vessel, receptacle, cannikin, aluminum, tin, dreadnaught, cruiser, dreadnought

Examples from the Web for gunboats

Historical Examples of gunboats

  • But now the hearts of the soldiers were cheered with the news that the gunboats were coming.

    Winning His Way

    Charles Carleton Coffin

  • Those your gunboats poke her nose and shove her oar in every place.

  • The Cumberland answered, and the Congress, and their gunboats and shore batteries.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • The head of his column was set for the James, for Harrison's Landing and the gunboats.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • He saw four gunboats on the river; they were throwing the long, howling shells.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston


British Dictionary definitions for gunboats

gunboat

noun
  1. a small shallow-draft vessel carrying mounted guns and used by coastal patrols, etc
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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 gunboats

gunboat

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper