noun, often attributive
\ˈship \

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 3 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


noun suffix

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ship


shippable \ ˈshi-​pə-​bəl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for ship

Synonyms: Noun

boat, keel, vessel

Synonyms: Verb

consign, dispatch, pack (off), send, shoot, transfer, transmit, transport

Antonyms: Verb

accept, receive

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ship in a Sentence


the captain of the ship He will travel by ship.


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

American companies have come to legal blows over talented engineers who jump ship to competitors, as Uber Technologies Inc. and Google offshoot Waymo LLC did over autonomous driving. Li Yuan, WSJ, "China Mines Silicon Valley for Tech Talent," 26 June 2018 That, in turn, means there are fewer women and minorities who can jump ship to start their own firms and take advantage of opportunities like the one Goldman is planning to support. Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times, "Financial World’s A-List Could Take Hollywood’s Cue on Inclusion," 18 June 2018 The person has talked to some West Wing aides looking to jump ship and hasn’t been all that impressed. Annie Linskey,, "Putting ‘White House’ on the resume is less of a boost," 15 May 2018 Sky Seals as Cash, a star about to jump ship from Sun to Columbia Records; and live-wire Dominique Scott, who won the Carbonell Award for his earlier performance as the cocky and provocative Lewis. Christine Dolen, miamiherald, "'Million Dollar Quartet:' Whole lotta great music-makin' going on | Miami Herald," 14 May 2018 Coach Tom Sermanni said the team isn’t necessarily worried about its performance, but ready to right the ship with seven matches left in the regular season. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride have sense of urgency going into match against Utah Royals," 13 July 2018 Real Madrid players were under no illusion that their star talisman Cristiano Ronaldo was to jump ship and move to Juventus, according to Marca., "Report Reveals Real Madrid Stars Shocked By Sudden Departure of Cristiano Ronaldo," 11 July 2018 And, most recently, Tuma Basa, who was one of Spotify’s most public-facing figures as its global programming head of hip-hop, abruptly jumped ship to join YouTube as director of urban music in March. Cherie Hu, Billboard, "Aggressive Content Bundling Might Be Spotify's Only Chance of Competing With Apple, Amazon," 10 July 2018 So to potentially have Chris jump ship when one thing didn’t go his way didn’t sit well with me. Becca Kufrin,, "Bachelorette Becca Kufrin on That 'Embarrassing' Group Date — and Falling for One 'Standup Man'," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The inserts are periodically shipped off for deep cleans, and are discarded when the fabric is soiled, worn or faded, Sotero said. Laura J. Nelson,, "Goodbye, upholstery. Hello, vinyl: L.A. Metro is phasing out some of its infamous fabric seats," 10 July 2018 In several cases, CBS News has heard of parents being detained in one state, while their child is shipped across the country. Mireya Villarreal, CBS News, "HHS: "Under 3,000" immigrant children still separated from their parents," 5 July 2018 That's the day after the non-waiver trade deadline, and the Rangers have multiple players who could be shipped out. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers Reaction: Growing group believes Beltre would nix a trade," 1 July 2018 The first time a NASA spacecraft has been shipped to French Guiana through the Panama Canal by boat for launching. Eric Niiler, WIRED, "Delays, Rising Costs Plague NASA's James Webb Space Telescope," 27 June 2018 Made from 100 perfect European flax plant fiber, Parachute's linen bedding is sourced from across Europe before it's shipped over to Portugal to be woven into fabric. Jacqueline Wladis, Allure, "I Tried Parachute's Linen Sheets and They Totally Transformed My Sleep," 14 June 2018 Most traversed the journey on 14-axel, 52-wheel trucks while eight that came in too heavy for Washington bridges were shipped through the waters of Puget Sound by boat. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "These 165,000-Pound Columns Will Heft a 38-Story Tower 85 Feet Off the Ground," 12 June 2018 There is still an ongoing investigation to determine how these products were contaminated and if they were shipped to other states outside of the ones mentioned above. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "Pre-Cut Melon Recalled Due to Salmonella Outbreak in Multiple States," 11 June 2018 The Guatemala native said the load will be shipped as soon as possible from Miami. Carlos Vázquez Otero,, "Victims of Guatemala volcano eruption need help: Here's where to drop off donations in Central Florida," 7 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ship



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


noun suffix

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 \

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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ship

What made you want to look up ship? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!