frigate

noun
frig·​ate | \ ˈfri-gət How to pronounce frigate (audio) \

Definition of frigate

1 : a light boat propelled originally by oars but later by sails
2 : a square-rigged war vessel intermediate between a corvette and a ship of the line
3 : a modern warship that is smaller than a destroyer

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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.

Examples of frigate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The USS McCain collided with a merchant ship in the South China Sea in August 2017, and in November 2018, the Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad ran into a tanker off the coast of Norway. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Stricken Destroyer USS Fitzgerald Leaves Drydock," 18 Apr. 2019 The Russian Navy is installing new non-lethal weapons on several new frigates. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Russian Navy Is Fitting Ships with Barf-Inducing Lights," 4 Feb. 2019 When Britain attacked the U.S. naval frigate Chesapeake in 1807, Gallatin received a message from Jefferson bidding him to come in haste. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, "‘Jefferson’s Treasure’ Review: Penny-Pincher in Chief," 19 Aug. 2018 On June 22, 1807, HMS Leopard, seeking Royal Navy deserters, opened fire on the unprepared American frigate USS Chesapeake. Richard Snow, WSJ, "‘Presidents of War’ Review: Commanders in Chief," 5 Oct. 2018 Coast guard patrol vessels, helicopters and a navy frigate have scoured the southern Euboean Gulf since some people trying to escape fast-moving flames raced to the water. Fox News, "Greece: Divers recover body offshore of where wildfire raged," 31 July 2018 Moore told the press the Navy looked at every ship on the inactive list, particularly retired Oliver Hazard Perry–class guided missile frigates. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Won’t Bring Back Mothballed Ships to Boost the Fleet," 21 Feb. 2019 The frigate, which was being towed back to a Philippine port, ran aground during a routine patrol, damaging some of its propellers. Christopher Bodeen, Fox News, "Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea," 10 Sep. 2018 The frigate, which was being towed back to a Philippine port, ran aground during a routine patrol Wednesday night, damaging some of its propellers. Jim Gomez, The Seattle Times, "Philippines extricates warship from South China Sea shoal," 3 Sep. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of frigate

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for frigate

Middle French, from Old Italian fregata

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Statistics for frigate

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for frigate

The first known use of frigate was in 1583

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More Definitions for frigate

frigate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of frigate

: a small and fast military ship

frigate

noun
frig·​ate | \ ˈfri-gət How to pronounce frigate (audio) \

Kids Definition of frigate

1 : a square-rigged warship
2 : a modern warship that is smaller than a destroyer

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