gun·​boat | \ ˈgən-ˌbōt How to pronounce gunboat (audio) \

Definition of gunboat

: an armed ship of shallow draft

Examples of gunboat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Jersey gunboat stunt was necessary because the Garden of Eden promised by Johnson has already become a dense jungle of bureaucratic tedium. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, 13 May 2021 One Union gunboat, the USS Amanda, was grounded on the west point of Dog Island across St. George Sound near Apalachicola. Joe Mario Pedersen,, 5 Apr. 2021 Not only can Neptune batteries strike farther and harder than any gunboat can do—they’re unsinkable, too. Follow me on Twitter. David Axe, Forbes, 19 Mar. 2021 In summer 1906 a Royal Navy torpedo gunboat, HMS Spanker, was steaming off the west coast of Scotland. Richard Davenport-hines, WSJ, 21 Aug. 2020 The sailors on the gunboats undertook a last-minute mission without proper training or equipment and were captured after straying into the waters surrounding an Iranian naval base on Farsi Island. T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, 17 Jan. 2020 He was once chased across the Gulf of Mexico by law enforcement personnel in gunboats while trying to photograph Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston on vacation. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, 3 Apr. 2020 During the Civil War, Meeker served as a paymaster on a US Navy gunboat in Louisiana and sketched the swamps in his spare time. Zachary Fine, The New York Review of Books, 8 Feb. 2020 On the morning of July 3, the Vincennes was engaged in combat alongside the frigate USS Montgomery, exchanging fire with Iranian gunboats that were threatening a Pakistani tanker in the Gulf, according to the US Navy report. Brad Lendon, CNN, 10 Jan. 2020

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

1777, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for gunboat

Time Traveler

The first known use of gunboat was in 1777

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Dictionary Entries Near gunboat



gunboat diplomacy

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Statistics for gunboat

Cite this Entry

“Gunboat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for gunboat



English Language Learners Definition of gunboat

: a small ship with guns


gun·​boat | \ ˈgən-ˌbōt How to pronounce gunboat (audio) \

Kids Definition of gunboat

: a small armed ship for use near a coast

More from Merriam-Webster on gunboat

Nglish: Translation of gunboat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gunboat for Arabic Speakers


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