• synonyms


  1. a ship anchored in a specific location and displaying or flashing a very bright light for the guidance of ships, as in avoiding dangerous areas. Abbreviation: LS
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Origin of lightship

First recorded in 1830–40; light1 + ship1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lightship

Historical Examples

  • They managed to reach the lightship in their lifeboats just as their vessel sank.

    The Story of the Great War, Volume III (of VIII)


  • "Posy here'd be a good hand aboard a lightship," he observed.

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • She thanks him for the lightship as if it were a bunch of roses.


    Julian Street

  • There were upwards of thirty artificers on board the lightship at this time.

    The Lighthouse

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • When the latter reached the lightship, the ocean liner was not yet in sight.

    The Flying Reporter

    Lewis E. (Lewis Edwin) Theiss

British Dictionary definitions for lightship


  1. a ship equipped as a lighthouse and moored where a fixed structure would prove impracticable
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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