frigate

play
noun frig·ate \ˈfri-gət\

Definition of frigate

  1. 1 :  a light boat propelled originally by oars but later by sails

  2. 2 :  a square-rigged war vessel intermediate between a corvette and a ship of the line

  3. 3 :  a modern warship that is smaller than a destroyer

Recent Examples of frigate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frigate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

In the 17th–19th centuries, a frigate was a three-masted, fully rigged sailing ship, often carrying 30–40 guns in all. Smaller and faster than ships of the line (the principal vessels of naval warfare), frigates served as scouts or as escorts protecting merchant convoys; they also cruised the seas as merchant raiders themselves. In World War II, Britain revived the term frigate using it to describe escort ships equipped with sonar and depth charges, and used these ships to guard convoys from submarines. In the postwar decades, the frigate also adopted an antiaircraft role, adding radar and surface-to-air missiles. Modern frigates can sail at a speed of 30 knots and carry a crew of 200.

Origin and Etymology of frigate

Middle French, from Old Italian fregata


FRIGATE Defined for English Language Learners

frigate

play
noun

Definition of frigate for English Language Learners

  • : a small and fast military ship


FRIGATE Defined for Kids

frigate

play
noun frig·ate \ˈfri-gət\

Definition of frigate for Students

  1. 1 :  a square-rigged warship

  2. 2 :  a modern warship that is smaller than a destroyer



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