gal·​le·​on | \ ˈga-lē-ən How to pronounce galleon (audio) \

Definition of galleon

: a heavy square-rigged sailing ship of the 15th to early 18th centuries used for war or commerce especially by the Spanish

Illustration of galleon

Illustration of galleon

Examples of galleon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Manning a small sloop or massive galleon takes a lot of teamwork, and fighting off other players (or skeleton crews) while taking on the wind and sea is truly exhilarating. Jess Grey, Wired, 19 Aug. 2021 On first glance, Galleon is a very modern 21st century incarnation of a Spanish 16th century Spanish cargo carrier, with an imposing multi-deck facade and four towering masts not to dissimilar to the original ‘galleon’ boats. Rachel Ingram, Forbes, 2 June 2021 Of course, that’s what onlookers have always called colorful characters like Mel Fisher, who found the Spanish galleon Atocha off the Florida Keys in 1985. Kim Kavin, Robb Report, 25 Apr. 2021 The Colosseum looms through the pines of Parco di Traiano like a galleon, its arches like empty portholes. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Mar. 2021 Her questions lead her to Cameron La Follette, whose extensive research and work with faraway academics and archivists patch together the legendary galleon’s voyage and demise. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, 16 Dec. 2020 For more than 150 years, treasure seekers have searched and dug for lost treasures from this galleon, said to transport valuable cargo and exotic goods across the Pacific from the Philippines to Mexico. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, 16 Dec. 2020 In 1694, a Manila galleon, the Santo Cristo de Burgos, wrecked off the coast of Oregon, near the foot of Neahkahnie mountain. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, 16 Dec. 2020 Builders constructed the galleon in a style popularized by Ragusa, a maritime republic located in what is now Dubrovnik, Croatia, according to Diver Net. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 July 2020

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

1529, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for galleon

probably borrowed from Italian galeone, galione (later reinforced by Spanish galeón, probably borrowed from Italian), from galea galley + -one, augmentative suffix

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The first known use of galleon was in 1529

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Dictionary Entries Near galleon

Gallegos Freire



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Cite this Entry

“Galleon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for galleon



English Language Learners Definition of galleon

: a large sailing ship used especially by the Spanish in the 1500s and 1600s


gal·​le·​on | \ ˈga-lē-ən How to pronounce galleon (audio) \

Kids Definition of galleon

: a large sailing ship used by the Spanish from the 1400s to the 1700s

More from Merriam-Webster on galleon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for galleon

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


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