ar·​ma·​da | \ är-ˈmä-də How to pronounce armada (audio) , -ˈmā- How to pronounce armada (audio) also -ˈma- \

Definition of armada

1 : a fleet of warships
2 : a large force or group usually of moving things

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Did You Know?

A Spanish word that originally meant simply "armed", armada is now used in Spanish-speaking nations as the name of their national navies. In English, the word usually has historical overtones. The Great Armada of 1588 was a 120-ship fleet sent by Philip II of Spain in an attempt to invade Elizabethan England; it was defeated when British forces lit eight ships afire and sent them sailing into the Armada's midst, then blocked the passage to the south so that the remaining ships were forced to sail northward around Britain in order to return home, causing dozens more ships to be wrecked in the stormy northern seas. Today we sometimes use the word humorously for fleets of fishing boats, rowboats, or canoes.

Examples of armada in a Sentence

an armada of fishing boats an armada of ships sailing up the coast
Recent Examples on the Web An armada of Landing Ship Tanks circled, waiting to take the troops to the beach. oregonlive, "Veterans Day 2019: Remembering Oregon’s 96th Infantry Division," 10 Nov. 2019 Ride-hailing apps have ushered in Ubers and Lyfts and Amazon has helped fuel a 24/7 armada of delivery trucks. Andrea Salcedo, New York Times, "Cars All but Banned on One of Manhattan’s Busiest Streets," 3 Oct. 2019 Megyesi said between that lot being ground up and an armada of construction workers parking in the neighborhood every day to build new projects, many businesses have suffered or even closed in the past year. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "Denver’s South Broadway is going through big changes. Again.," 8 Nov. 2019 Keenan, crept in the darkness on risers behind Jones and Chancellor, while Carey set up stage center behind an armada of percussion instruments that looked like a space station. Greg Kot,, "Concert review: Tool fires up head-banging and hand-wringing at United Center," 25 Oct. 2019 El descubrimiento de un planeta extrasolar con condiciones similares a las de la Tierra desencadena en una épica batalla con una armada de origen desconocido. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019," 22 Sep. 2019 It is known as Solano's hurricane, after the Spanish Admiral Don José Solano y Bote, who was at that time leading an armada of 64 ships and 4,000 soldiers to attack the British in Pensacola in the fight to control Florida. Tristram Korten, Smithsonian, "The Bahamas and the Caribbean Have Withstood Hurricanes for Centuries," 17 Sep. 2019 And in doing so, accommodate the growing armada of cargo bikes with sufficiently wide lanes. 16. Copenhagenize Design Co., WIRED, "The 20 Most Bike-Friendly Cities on the Planet, Ranked," 27 June 2019 The Spanish figured helping the rebels was a way to stick it to the English, whom they’d never forgiven for sinking their armada. John Kelly, Washington Post, "The Spaniard who helped win the Revolutionary War has a new statue in D.C.," 17 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'armada.' 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 armada

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for armada

Spanish, from Medieval Latin armata army, fleet, from Latin, feminine of armatus, past participle of armare to arm, from arma

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Time Traveler for armada

Time Traveler

The first known use of armada was in 1550

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Statistics for armada

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Armada.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for armada


How to pronounce armada (audio) How to pronounce armada (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of armada

: a large group of ships, boats, etc.


ar·​ma·​da | \ är-ˈmä-də How to pronounce armada (audio) , -ˈmā- \

Kids Definition of armada

: a large fleet of warships

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More from Merriam-Webster on armada

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for armada

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with armada

Spanish Central: Translation of armada

Nglish: Translation of armada for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about armada

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