noun English History.
any of several acts of Parliament between 1651 and 1847 designed primarily to expand British trade and limit trade by British colonies with countries that were rivals of Great Britain.
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British Dictionary definitions for navigation acts
a series of acts of Parliament, the first of which was passed in 1381, that attempted to restrict to English ships the right to carry goods to and from England and its colonies. The attempt to enforce the acts helped cause the War of American Independence
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