noun, often attributive
\ ˈship How to pronounce ship (audio) \
plural ships

Definition of ship

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : a large seagoing vessel
b : a sailing vessel having a bowsprit and usually three masts each composed of a lower mast, a topmast, and a topgallant mast
2 : boat especially : one propelled by power or sail
3 : a ship's crew
4 : fortune sense 2 when their ship comes in they'll be able to live in better style

— see also take ship


verb (1)
shipped; shipping; ships

Definition of ship (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to place or receive on board a ship for transportation by water
b : to cause to be transported shipped him off to prep school
2 obsolete : to provide with a ship
3 : to put in place for use ship the tiller
4 : to take into a ship or boat ship the gangplank
5 : to engage for service on a ship
6 : to take (water) over the side used of a boat or a ship

intransitive verb

1 : to embark on a ship
2a : to go or travel by ship often used with out
b : to proceed by ship or other means under military orders often used with out
3 : to engage to serve on shipboard
4 : to be sent for delivery the order will ship soon


verb (2)
shipped; shipping; ships

Definition of ship (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

: to wishfully regard (specific people or fictional characters) as being or having the potential to become romantically involved with one another Naturally, their followers gushed … and started shipping them all over again. "Please be back together," one user commented …— Alyssa Morin The Office's on-and-off pairing remained so tantalizingly close after the series wrapped in 2013 that even [Mindy] Kaling gets why people are still shipping them.— Sarah Grossbart Sean Astin, who portrayed Bob Newby, the love interest of Ryder's character, Joyce Byers, in season 2, told Us Weekly exclusively earlier this month that he hopes Jim and Joyce will end up together. "I've shipped them since the beginning," the 49-year-old declared.— Samantha Leffler One close friendship does develop between two girls, and while fans of other Dreamworks shows like She-Ra and the Princesses of Power may start shipping them, budding romance at this point is only wishful thinking.— Alana Joli Abbott How does one even begin to write about Anne and Diana? … Megan Followes herself ships them.— Danny M. Lavery


noun suffix

Definition of -ship (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : state : condition : quality friendship
2 : office : dignity : profession clerkship
3 : art : skill horsemanship
4 : something showing, exhibiting, or embodying a quality or state township fellowship
5 : one entitled to a (specified) rank, title, or appellation his Lordship
6 : the body of persons participating in a specified activity readership listenership

Other Words from ship

Verb (1)

shippable \ ˈshi-​pə-​bəl How to pronounce -ship (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for ship

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Antonyms: Verb (1)

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Examples of ship in a Sentence

Noun the captain of the ship He will travel by ship. Verb (1) The goods were shipped from a foreign port. Your order is expected to ship soon. The company will ship its new software next month. The software will ship next month. The soldiers were shipped overseas for duty. When the waves increased, the boat began shipping water. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The first new ship in the DCL fleet in more than 10 years arrived to its new home port around 5 a.m. Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel, 20 June 2022 The replica of the Amistad — the ship that was the site of an uprising of captive Africans in 1839 — will be open for free tours. Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant, 20 June 2022 Inside the entryway, Smith pointed out a ship manifest, framed and mounted beside the names on the wall. Teo Armus, Washington Post, 18 June 2022 Over a million pounds of baby formula is set to ship into the United States sometime next month, the Food and Drug Administration announced Friday. Alexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 18 June 2022 The AquaExpeditions ship Aqua Blu, launched right before the pandemic, sails itineraries in Indonesia. Sue Bryant, Town & Country, 17 June 2022 Early this morning, the Ukrainian military released video feed footage of yet another Russian ship coming under attack while transiting towards Snake Island, an outpost infamously captured by the Russian Navy early in the conflict. Sebastien Roblin, Forbes, 17 June 2022 The ship blazes red above water before the virtual camera plunges below the surface to reveal the hull torn in two. Peter Debruge, Variety, 16 June 2022 Building a factory in the US also helps the company meet demand here, particularly when supply chains are clogged and the cost to ship goods is surging amid record fuel prices. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, 16 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It was supposed to ship in December, but supply chain issues kept the car from being delivered until April — as gas prices reached record highs. Corrinne Hess, Journal Sentinel, 10 June 2022 The company did not release how many orders fulfillment centers can ship in one day. Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, 3 June 2022 Beijing scrapped export taxes for companies that ship direct to consumers in 2018, in response to new U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Yvonne Lau, Fortune, 31 May 2022 Qualcomm says that the chipset is expected to ship in commercial devices in the third quarter of this year, with brands like Motorola, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo, ROG, and more, all having commited to using the chip in an upcoming device. Christian De Looper, BGR, 20 May 2022 Diesel costs are reaching new highs across the U.S., straining the operations of trucking companies and wrecking the transportation budgets of businesses that need to ship goods. Paul Page, WSJ, 12 May 2022 Ford plans to begin to ship Lightning trucks in coming days, starting with the most affordable Pro series, which is largely for commercial use. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 26 Apr. 2022 As the battle map shifts, the U.S. continues to ship in military equipment to the Ukrainians. David Martin, CBS News, 1 Apr. 2022 The company is selling them through the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, and current orders should ship in May. Richard Baguley, Wired, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ship.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ship


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Verb (2)

1998, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ship


Middle English, from Old English scip; akin to Old High German skif ship

Verb (2)

verbal derivative of ship "romantic pairing of a fictional couple," shortened from relationship

Noun suffix

Middle English, from Old English -scipe; akin to Old High German -scaft -ship, Old English scieppan to shape — more at shape

Learn More About ship

Time Traveler for ship

Time Traveler

The first known use of ship was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near ship

shiny willow



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Statistics for ship

Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for ship


\ ˈship How to pronounce ship (audio) \

Kids Definition of ship

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a large boat designed for travel by sea
3 : a vehicle for traveling beyond the earth's atmosphere a rocket ship


shipped; shipping

Kids Definition of ship (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to cause to be transported The grain was shipped by rail.
2 : to put or receive on board for transportation by water
3 : to send (someone) to a place They shipped her off to boarding school.
4 : to take into a ship or boat ship oars ship water
5 : to sign on as a crew member on a ship


noun suffix
\ ˌship \

Kids Definition of -ship

1 : state : condition : quality friendship
2 : office : rank : profession authorship
3 : skill penmanship
4 : something showing a quality or state of being championship township
5 : someone having a specified rank your Lordship

More from Merriam-Webster on ship

Nglish: Translation of ship for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ship for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ship


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