• synonyms

ship of the line

  1. a former sailing warship armed powerfully enough to serve in the line of battle, usually having cannons ranged along two or more decks; battleship.
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Origin of ship of the line

First recorded in 1700–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ship of the line

Historical Examples of ship of the line

  • And ten men for the spar-deck of a ship-of-the-line of three decks.

    Ordnance Instructions for the United States Navy.

    Bureau of Ordnance, USN

  • Saumarez preferred the ship-of-the-line, Pellew the frigate.

  • This, if I mistake not, was the size of a ship-of-the-line in the navy of Liliput.

  • Rather be a letter of marque, in fact, than a ship-of-the-line,—more credit to your Lordship's love of danger than discipline.

  • By three o'clock she had come near enough for Biddle to make out that she was a ship-of-the-line.

British Dictionary definitions for ship of the line

ship of the line

  1. nautical (formerly) a warship large enough to fight in the first line of battle
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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