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

Keep scrolling for more

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

By secretly putting the tardigrades on board, Spivack also evaded an armada of other government agencies and policies in both the US and Israel. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Why stowaway creatures on the Moon confound international space law," 16 Aug. 2019 As bridge dedication ceremonies got under way, an armada of Navy destroyers, yachts and power boats formed a huge oval in parade beneath the bridge. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego-Coronado bridge dedicated 50 years ago," 2 Aug. 2019 On June 6, 1944, an armada of 150,000 Allied soldiers landed on five beaches in Normandy, France. Brian Pascus, CBS News, "What is D-Day? Remembering the storied 1944 invasion of Normandy," 6 June 2019 The morning of the swim, an armada of boats congregated alongside a string of pennant flags hung across the channel — the pony swim lane. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, "Following in the Wake of a Storybook Pony," 8 July 2019 In July of 1776, the British, infuriated by their humiliation in New England, deployed the largest armada in military history. Time, "The Maryland 400 Lost a Battle But Helped Win a War. On the 4th of July, We Should Remember Their Sacrifice," 4 July 2019 By then, an armada of 4,000 ships was off the Normandy coast, and landing craft were ferrying tanks, infantry units and combat engineers toward the shore. Ron Grossman, Houston Chronicle, "IN THEIR OWN WORDS," 9 June 2019 On the night before the D-Day landings on June 6th, 1944, an aerial armada set out from England for Normandy. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Return of 'That’s All, Brother': The Plane That Led the D-Day Invasion," 4 June 2019 That could have huge implications for the fortunes of companies like Tesla, whose CEO Elon Musk said would transform its existing fleet of cars into a 1 million-strong robo-taxi armada by 2020—something few analysts believe is feasible. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Self-Driving Cars Have a Problem: Safer Human-Driven Ones," 15 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about armada

Statistics for armada

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for armada

The first known use of armada was in 1550

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for armada



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on armada

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with armada

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for armada

Spanish Central: Translation of armada

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

Comments on armada

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


readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

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!