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

Definition of ship

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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


shipped; shipping

Definition of ship (Entry 2 of 3)

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

Definition of -ship (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from ship


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for ship

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of ship in a Sentence

Noun the captain of the ship He will travel by ship. Verb 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After crashing through 12-foot waves and nearly 200 nautical miles of ice floes, the two ships drew close to one of China’s stations, called Zhongshan, on Antarctica’s eastern rim (they are pictured, led by Xue Long 2). The Economist, "The voyage of two icebreakers have been creating headlines in China," 28 Nov. 2019 The deal: Perks including free drinks, Wi-Fi and gratuities on week-long Caribbean cruises booked on four ships. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Black Friday, Cyber Monday travel deals: Flights, cruises, hotels, more sales for your next trip," 27 Nov. 2019 The Coast Guard has two ships and a helicopter searching for the fishermen, who were not immediately identified. Ben Kesslen, NBC News, "One fisherman rescued, 3 missing after boat sinks off Martha's Vineyard," 25 Nov. 2019 After two ships collided in Halifax Harbour, causing the blast, Boston quickly responded by sending medical personnel and supplies., "Boston’s official Christmas tree arrives from Nova Scotia - The Boston Globe," 20 Nov. 2019 Al-Masirah did not report on the origin of the other two ships. Ruba Alhenawi, Hande Atay Alam And Ryan Browne, CNN, "Yemen's Houthi rebels seize Saudi Arabian ship in Red Sea," 19 Nov. 2019 The final 21 belugas were released from two ships on Sunday, according to the AFP. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Russia Frees Last Belugas from Notorious ‘Whale Jail’," 13 Nov. 2019 The artist, Molly Alloy, pasted words and a dotted arrow to connect the three colonial ships printed outside the 1670′s future home to slavery. oregonlive, "Portland building removes chocolate shop signage after artist links branding to slave trade," 12 Nov. 2019 Salvini immediately closed Italian ports to search and rescue ships. Jasmine Aguilera/ajo, Time, "They Tried to Save the Lives of Immigrants Fleeing Danger. Now They’re Facing Prosecution," 11 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With little sign of the pig disease ebbing in China, American meat producers are shipping record numbers of whole hog carcasses to the Asian country. Lydia Mulvany And Michael Hirtzer,, "Ham, Thanksgiving’s second fiddle, will cost you this year," 18 Nov. 2019 Word spread, and over the past few months, students in classrooms across the nation have been folding and shipping countless butterflies to Alameda, as have other families, hospital patients and lone supporters. Alejandro Serrano,, "As thousands of children are held at U.S. border, two East Bay girls are taking artistic action," 13 Nov. 2019 The company shipped 106,070 teeth aligners in the 3rd quarter (up from 72,387 in the year-ago quarter). Anne Sraders, Fortune, "After Its Disastrous IPO, SmileDirectClub Beats Revenue Estimates—But Investors Still Aren’t Grinning," 12 Nov. 2019 The drug ring shipped synthetic drugs illicitly to the U.S. and other countries from a gritty clandestine laboratory. Fox News, "China sentences fentanyl trafficker to death, others up to life in prison after US tip in drug case," 8 Nov. 2019 Pennies are, indeed, an affordable alternative to fancier building materials like marble and stone—one company sells premade sheets on mesh backing, similar to how building tile is packaged and shipped, for $19.99 for a sheet of 224 pennies. Jennifer Fernandez, House Beautiful, "Is Penny Flooring Genius or a Disaster?," 6 Nov. 2019 The Canaries have shipped a lot of goals in recent games, but Watford have scored just twice themselves in their last five outings., "Norwich City vs Watford Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 6 Nov. 2019 Amazon culture is anonymity culture: anonymous objects ordered through an anonymous interface from anonymous sellers, funnelled, sorted, shipped, and delivered by workers who are often unseen. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "What an Amazon Fulfillment Center Tour Reveals," 4 Nov. 2019 According to data from tech market researcher Canalys, companies shipped 26.1 million smart speakers in the second quarter. Rachel Metz, CNN, "Researchers used a laser to hack Alexa and other voice assistants," 4 Nov. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of ship


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


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

History and Etymology for ship


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

Noun suffix

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

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Time Traveler for ship

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ship

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ship.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for ship


How to pronounce -ship (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ship

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a large boat used for traveling long distances over the sea
: a large airplane or spacecraft



English Language Learners Definition of ship (Entry 2 of 3)

: to send (something) to a customer
: to send (a new product) to stores so that it can be bought by customers
: to send (someone) to a place that is usually far away

English Language Learners Definition of -ship (Entry 3 of 3)

: the state or condition of being something
: the position, status, or duties of something
: skill or ability as someone or something


\ 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
\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on ship

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ship

Spanish Central: Translation of ship

Nglish: Translation of ship for Spanish Speakers

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

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