man-of-war

[man-uh v-wawr]

Origin of man-of-war

1400–50 in sense “soldier”; late Middle English
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for man-of-war

Historical Examples of man-of-war

  • The Americans exulted at the failure of the man-of-war's man, and the English doubted.

    Homeward Bound

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • It is, in short, the man-of-war that was in St. Blas when we left there.

    An Old Sailor's Yarns

    Nathaniel Ames

  • Once, I remember, we came upon a man-of-war anchored off the coast.

    Heart of Darkness

    Joseph Conrad

  • Then all the guns were fakes, and the whole business of a man-of-war as well?

    The Harbor of Doubt

    Frank Williams

  • Carlos came to the side, and looked after the man-of-war in the distance.

    Romance

    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer


British Dictionary definitions for man-of-war

man-of-war

man o' war

noun plural men-of-war or men o' war
  1. a warship
  2. See Portuguese man-of-war
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 man-of-war
n.

late 14c., "a soldier," from man (n.) + war. Meaning "vessel equipped for warfare" is from late 15c. Man in the sense of "a ship" is attested from late 15c. in combinations (e.g. merchantman). The sea creature known as the Portuguese man-of-war (1707) is so called for its sail-like crest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper