hulk

A hulk is just the shell of a ship — it can stay afloat on the water, but it's not capable of sailing on the sea. Another kind of hulk is a big person, like the Incredible Hulk who could single-handedly sink the hulk of any ship.

Hulks were once commonly used as prisons — floating jails where convicted criminals were kept. Ships become hulks when they're retired due to age, or damaged in a storm. Another meaning of hulk, "enormous person," is rooted in this ship meaning, coming from the sense of either type of hulk as big, awkward, and clumsy. The Middle English source is hulc, "heavy, unwieldy ship," from the Greek holkas, "merchant ship."

Primary Meanings of hulk

1.
n
a ship that has been wrecked and abandoned
2.
nv
a very large person; impressive in size or qualities
appear very large or occupy a commanding position
Full Definitions of hulk
1

n a ship that has been wrecked and abandoned

Type of:
ship
a vessel that carries passengers or freight
2

n a very large person; impressive in size or qualities

Synonyms:
giant, heavyweight, whale
Type of:
large person
a person of greater than average size

v appear very large or occupy a commanding position

Synonyms:
loom, predominate, tower
Type of:
lift, rear, rise
rise up

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