a semicylindrical metal shelter having end walls, usually serving as a barracks, storage shed, or the like, developed for the U.S. military forces from the British Nissen hut at Quonset Naval Base in Rhode Island.
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Related Words for quonset hutencampment, garrison, hut, billet, camp, headquarters, quarters, dormitory, enclosure, tent, bivouac, prefab, cantonment
trademark US a military shelter made of corrugated steel sheet, having a semicircular cross sectionBrit equivalent: Nissen hut
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
1942, from Quonset Point Naval Air Station, Rhode Island, where this type of structure was first built, 1941. The place name is from a southern New England Algonquian language and perhaps means "small, long place."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper