general quarters

plural noun

: a condition of maximum readiness of a warship for action

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The Strait of Hormuz, on the other hand, is a tense passage, often conducted at general quarters (meaning every member of the crew is up and at battle stations). James Stavridis, Time, 29 Mar. 2021 The crew on all three of her ships were at general quarters. Elliot Ackerman, Wired, 26 Jan. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'general quarters.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1829, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of general quarters was in 1829

Dictionary Entries Near general quarters

Cite this Entry

“General quarters.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

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