Definition of argosy
1 : a large ship; especially : a large merchant ship three of your argosies are … come to harbor — William Shakespeare
2 : a fleet of ships
3 : a rich supply an argosy of railway folklore — F. P. Donovan
argosy was our Word of the Day on 04/24/2009. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of argosy in a Sentence
a book that is an argosy of stories and legends about the golden age of Hollywood
Did You Know?
Looking at the first sense of "argosy," you might assume that this word is a close relative of "argonaut," but that isn't the case. Although both words have a nautical sense, they have different etymologies. The original argonauts sailed on a ship called the Argo to seek the Golden Fleece; their moniker combines the name of their ship and the Greek word nautēs, meaning "sailor." "Argosy" comes from "Ragusa," the Italian name for the city that is now Dubrovnik, Croatia. Over time, "Ragusa" was modified into "ragusea," a noun for the laden merchant ships that sailed from that port in medieval days. A broadening of meaning and another shift in spelling gave us "argosy," denoting any merchant vessel or rich store.
Origin and Etymology of argosy
modification of Italian ragusea Ragusan vessel, from Ragusa, Dalmatia (now Dubrovnik, Croatia)
First Known Use: 1581See Words from the same year
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