- a self-propelled, cigar-shaped missile containing explosives and often equipped with a homing device, launched from a submarine or other warship, for destroying surface vessels or other submarines.
- any of various submarine explosive devices for destroying hostile ships, as a mine.
- a cartridge of gunpowder, dynamite, or the like, exploded in an oil well to facilitate the extraction of oil from the well.
- a detonating device fastened to the top of a rail so as to be exploded by the pressure of a locomotive or car, thus giving an audible signal to members of a train crew.
- any of various other explosive devices, as a firework that consists of an explosive wrapped up with gravel in a piece of tissue paper and that detonates when thrown forcibly on the ground or against a hard surface.
- Also called torpedo fish. an electric ray, especially Torpedo nobiliana, of the Atlantic Ocean.
- an electric catfish, Malapterurus electricus, inhabiting waters of tropical central Africa and the Nile valley.
- Informal. a hero sandwich.
- Slang. a gangster hired as a murderer.
- to attack, hit, damage, or destroy with torpedoes.
- to explode a torpedo in (an oil well) to facilitate the extraction of oil.
- to undermine, ruin, or destroy: He torpedoed our plans.
- to attack, damage, or sink a ship with torpedoes.
Origin of torpedo
Regional variation note
Related Words for torpedoinginvalidate, annul, veto, void, undo, abolish, restrict, quash, offset, negate, abrogate, repeal, rescind, torpedo, annihilate, expunge, exterminate, ravage, erase, eliminate
Examples from the Web for torpedoing
Contemporary Examples of torpedoing
Historical Examples of torpedoing
Anyway, by the end of the third day after the "torpedoing," my patience was at an end.The Secrets of a Kuttite
Edward O. Mousley
There was but little chance of torpedoing her in any other way.The Journal of Submarine Commander von Forstner
Georg-Gnther von Forstner
The latter relied on torpedoing her enemy under cover of the darkness, but the submarine is most dangerous in day-time.The British Navy Book
Were you going a zigzag course at the moment the torpedoing took place?
You'd think I'd be used to torpedoing by this time, and could keep my sea legs under fire, but I didn't.Over the Seas for Uncle Sam
- a cylindrical self-propelled weapon carrying explosives that is launched from aircraft, ships, or submarines and follows an underwater path to hit its target
- obsolete a submarine mine
- US and Canadian a firework containing gravel and a percussion cap that explodes when dashed against a hard surface
- US and Canadian a detonator placed on a railway line as a danger signal
- any of various electric rays of the genus Torpedo
- to hit (a ship, etc) with one or a number of torpedoes
- to render ineffective; destroy or wreckto torpedo the administration's plan
Word Origin for torpedo
1520s, "electric ray," from Latin torpedo, originally "numbness" (from the effect of being jolted by the ray's electric discharges), from torpere "be numb" (see torpor). The sense of "explosive device used to blow up enemy ships" is first recorded 1776, as a floating mine; the self-propelled version is from 1860s.
1873, from torpedo (n.). Figurative sense attested from 1895. Related: Torpedoed; torpedoing.