: a vehicle that cruises: as
a : squad car
b : a powerboat with facilities (as a cabin and plumbing) necessary for living aboard —called also cabin cruiser
: a large fast moderately armored and gunned warship
First Known Use of CRUISER
cruiser noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
Warship built for high speed and great cruising radius, smaller than a battleship but larger than a destroyer. The term originally meant frigates of the sailing era, used to scout for enemy fleets and raid convoys. After 1880, it was a specific type of armoured warship. By World War II, cruisers served mainly as floating bases for amphibious assaults and as protection for aircraft-carrier task forces. Today U.S. cruisers carry surface-to-air missiles vital to a fleet's air-defense screen. Nuclear propulsion has given some cruisers virtually unlimited range.
Seen & Heard
What made you want to look up cruiser? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).