: to hit or sink (a ship) with a naval torpedo : strike or destroy by torpedo
: to destroy or nullify altogether :wreck<torpedo a plan>
Examples of TORPEDO
The submarine torpedoed the battleship.
Her injury torpedoed her goal of competing in the Olympics.
First Known Use of TORPEDO
TORPEDOES Defined for Kids
Definition of TORPEDO for Kids
: a long narrow self-propelled underwater weapon used for blowing up ships
Word History of TORPEDO
In 1776, David Bushnell, a supporter of the American cause in the Revolutionary War, built a wooden submarine with a detachable container of gunpowder that could be hooked to an enemy ship and set to explode after the submarine steered clear. Bushnell is believed to have dubbed the container with the Latin word torpedo, “electric ray,” that is, a fish that delivers an electric shock. Though Bushnell's submarine and explosive device never damaged a British vessel, the name torpedo was later applied to modern weapons used to attack ships.