gun·​ship ˈgən-ˌship How to pronounce gunship (audio)
: a helicopter or cargo aircraft armed with rockets and machine guns

Examples of gunship in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The gunship crew tracked the attackers in their vehicle and struck back, killing several of them, according to U.S. officials. Matt Seyler, ABC News, 21 Nov. 2023 The vessel was scuttled by its own crew to prevent Gen. Sherman from capturing the massive gunship when his Union troops took Savannah in December 1864. CBS News, 14 Nov. 2023 Before aircraft carriers, gunships with powerful cannons, ultimately known as battleships, were the dominant vessel for war at sea, with guns that could bombard inland as well as devastate foes at sea. Kelsey D. Atherton, Popular Science, 1 Nov. 2023 On June 19, Israeli forces raid Jenin, deploying helicopter gunships to the West Bank for the first time since the second intifada. Bryan Pietsch, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 Experts said that was probably the first such use of helicopter gunships in the occupied West Bank since the second Palestinian uprising about 20 years ago. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, 19 June 2023 Israeli helicopter gunships were deployed to Lebanese territory, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, an IDF spokesman, said on X, formerly Twitter. William Booth, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 Flying them out seemed to be the only option, but there was a problem: his Cobra gunship had no room inside. Matt Seyler, ABC News, 1 Sep. 2023 Moments after the blast, which shook buildings miles away, a helicopter gunship appeared over the building site, shooting methodically at those who remained alive. Rebecca Tan and Cape Diamond, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gunship.' 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

1966, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gunship was in 1966

Dictionary Entries Near gunship

Cite this Entry

“Gunship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


gun·​ship -ˌship How to pronounce gunship (audio)
: an aircraft armed with rockets and machine guns for protection of ground troops or helicopters carrying them

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