Definition of flotilla
1 : a fleet of ships or boats; especially : a navy organizational unit consisting of two or more squadrons of small warships
2 : an indefinite large number a flotilla of changes
flotilla was our Word of the Day on 08/09/2010. Hear the podcast!
Recent Examples of flotilla from the Web
The River Thames became a royal highway as Queen Elizabeth II led a motley but majestic flotilla of more than 1,000 vessels to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
Flotillas of county marine deputies and Coast Guard sailors will escort them.
Steve, a spy for the Allies, is wearing a German uniform and is pursued by a flotilla of Teutonic bad guys, who battle the Amazons on the beach.
In summer, Events & Adventures organizes a flotilla of fun for its members: A houseboat brimming with mimosas is joined on Lake Union by two Hot Tub Boats.
And a flotilla of seven NATO ships is headed toward the Gulf of Aden.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flotilla'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Flotilla comes from the diminutive form of the Spanish noun flota, meaning "fleet." Flota derives via Old French from Old Norse "floti" and is related to Old English "flota" ("ship"), an ancestor to our word float. Much like other words referring to groups of particular things (such as "swarm"), "flotilla" has taken on expanded usage to refer simply to a large number of something not necessarily having to do with nautical matters, often with humorous effect (e.g., "a flotilla of rather mature-looking male models" - Jed Perl, The New Republic).
FLOTILLA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of flotilla for English Language Learners
: a group of small ships
FLOTILLA Defined for Kids
Definition of flotilla for Students
: a fleet of usually small ships
Seen and Heard
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