Other forms: ships; shipping; shipped

A ship is a large sea-going vessel, and it's also a way to transport goods. You can ship things on a ship — but, confusingly, you can also ship them on a truck or a train.

A ship is like a boat, only larger — some definitions of a sailing ship say it has at least three masts. A cruise ship transports a large number of people in what is basically a floating hotel. A cargo ship, on the other hand, transports goods being imported and exported between countries. One guess about the origin of ship links it to a Germanic word meaning "hollowed-out tree."

Definitions of ship
  1. noun
    a vessel that carries passengers or freight
    see moresee less
    H.M.S. Bounty
    a ship of the British navy; in 1789 part of the crew mutinied against their commander William Bligh and set him afloat in an open boat
    the ship in which the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from England to Massachusetts in 1620
    show 58 types...
    hide 58 types...
    abandoned ship, derelict
    a ship abandoned on the high seas
    a ship that runs through or around a naval blockade
    cargo ship, cargo vessel
    a ship designed to carry cargo
    the ship that carries the commander of a fleet and flies his flag
    gas-turbine ship
    a ship powered by a gas turbine
    hospital ship
    a ship built to serve as a hospital; used for wounded in wartime
    a ship that has been wrecked and abandoned
    iceboat, icebreaker
    a ship with a reinforced bow to break up ice and keep channels open for navigation
    a ship equipped like a lighthouse and anchored where a permanent lighthouse would be impracticable
    ship equipped for laying marine mines
    ship equipped to detect and then destroy or neutralize or remove marine mines
    nuclear-powered ship
    ship whose motive power comes from the energy of a nuclear reactor
    passenger ship
    a ship built to carry passengers
    pirate, pirate ship
    a ship that is manned by pirates
    school ship, training ship
    a ship used to train students as sailors
    a wrecked ship (or a part of one)
    sister ship
    a ship that is one of two or more similar ships built at the same time
    slave ship
    a ship used to transport slaves from their homes to places of bondage
    small ship
    a ship that is small
    steamer, steamship
    a ship powered by one or more steam engines
    supply ship, tender
    ship that usually provides supplies to other ships
    any ship having three decks
    transport ship
    a ship for carrying soldiers or military equipment
    treasure ship
    a 16th-century ship loaded with treasure
    ship for transporting troops
    combat ship, war vessel, warship
    a government ship that is available for waging war
    whaler, whaling ship
    a ship engaged in whale fishing
    a ship that has been destroyed at sea
    a small, light ship with lateen sails and two to four masts; used by Spanish and Portuguese sailors in the 15th and 16th centuries
    aircraft carrier, attack aircraft carrier, carrier, flattop
    a large warship that carries planes and has a long flat deck for takeoffs and landings
    banana boat
    a ship designed to transport bananas
    battleship, battlewagon
    large and heavily armoured warship
    bottom, freighter, merchant ship, merchantman
    a cargo ship
    capital ship
    a warship of the first rank in size and armament
    cattle boat, cattleship
    a cargo ship for the transport of livestock
    container ship, container vessel, containership
    a cargo ship designed to hold containerized cargoes
    a swift pirate ship (often operating with official sanction)
    a highly maneuverable escort warship; smaller than a destroyer
    a large fast warship; smaller than a battleship and larger than a destroyer
    destroyer, guided missile destroyer
    a small fast lightly armored but heavily armed warship
    destroyer escort
    warship smaller than a destroyer; designed to escort fleets or convoys
    factory ship
    a whaling ship equipped to process whale products at sea
    a United States warship larger than a destroyer and smaller than a cruiser
    a medium size square-rigged warship of the 18th and 19th centuries
    guard ship
    a warship (at anchor or under way) required to maintain a higher degree of readiness than others in its squadron
    a wooden warship of the 19th century that is plated with iron or steel armor
    Liberty ship
    a slow cargo ship built during World War II
    liner, ocean liner
    a large commercial ship (especially one that carries passengers on a regular schedule)
    man-of-war, ship of the line
    a warship intended for combat
    oil tanker, oiler, tank ship, tanker
    a cargo ship designed to carry crude oil in bulk
    paddle steamer, paddle-wheeler
    a steam vessel propelled by paddle wheels
    a privately owned warship commissioned to prey on the commercial shipping or warships of an enemy nation
    sloop of war
    a sailing or steam warship having cannons on only one deck
    submersible, submersible warship
    a warship designed to operate under water
    surface ship
    a warship that operates on the surface of the water
    a warship carrying guns on three decks
    torpedo boat
    small high-speed warship designed for torpedo attacks in coastal waters
    tramp, tramp steamer
    a commercial steamer for hire; one having no regular schedule
    type of:
    vessel, watercraft
    a craft designed for water transportation
  2. verb
    place on board a ship
    ship the cargo in the hold of the vessel”
    see moresee less
    place on a ship again or transfer to another ship
    type of:
    lay, place, pose, position, put, set
    put into a certain place or abstract location
  3. verb
    transport commercially
    synonyms: send, transport
    see moresee less
    show 6 types...
    hide 6 types...
    transport by barge on a body of water
    transport by railroad
    despatch, dispatch, send off
    send away towards a designated goal
    forward, send on
    send or ship onward from an intermediate post or station in transit
    bundle off
    send off unceremoniously
    send documents or materials to appropriate destinations
    type of:
    displace, move
    cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
  4. verb
    hire for work on a ship
    see moresee less
    type of:
    employ, engage, hire
    engage or hire for work
  5. verb
    go on board
    synonyms: embark
    see moresee less
    debark, disembark, set down
    go ashore
    emplane, enplane
    board a plane
    type of:
    board, get on
    get on board of (trains, buses, ships, aircraft, etc.)
  6. verb
    travel by ship
    see moresee less
    type of:
    journey, travel
    travel upon or across




Cite this entry
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

Copy citation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘ship'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up ship for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer