mother ship


Definition of mother ship

: a ship serving smaller craft

Examples of mother ship in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The 600-ton Stratolaunch mother ship will lumber directly onto Mojave's Runway 30, which extends 12,500 feet through the desert scrub toward the windmills churning the air in the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains. Michael Belfiore, Popular Mechanics, "Say Hello to Stratolaunch, the World's Largest Plane," 17 Apr. 2012 In May, Instagram moved into gleaming new headquarters in San Francisco, leased in part so Systrom could get back to his family instead of idling in traffic on the drive home from the company’s space at the Facebook mother ship in Silicon Valley. Seth Stevenson, WSJ, "Instagram’s Kevin Systrom on the Platform He Built for One Billion Users," 25 Sep. 2018 Sticking the landing In the early hours of Oct. 3, about 185 million miles (300 million kilometers) from Earth, MASCOT was deployed from Hayabusa2, the mother ship made by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Megan Gannon,, "'Crazy' Rocky Surface of Asteroid Ryugu Revealed in MASCOT Lander Images," 13 Oct. 2018 Also, the mother ship is calling you back to your host planet. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "What They Don't Tell You About Cross-Country Family Road Trips," 23 July 2018 The prospect of selling Metro’s bulky downtown mother ship has gained traction as downtown revitalization has sent commercial property values higher. Martine Powers, Washington Post, "Metro seeks buyer for downtown D.C. headquarters," 12 July 2018 Lynfred has four locations in the suburbs, but the mother ship is in Roselle, a half-mile stroll from the Metra station. Lori Rackl,, "Bicentennial bucket list: 20 essential Illinois drinks," 29 June 2018 Once the mission is completed, the micro drones land or swim inside Proteus and are transported the long distance back to their mother ship. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Futuristic mini-sub could be a valuable weapon for Navy SEALs," 7 June 2018 In 2004, a mother ship called the WhiteKnight carried a manned spacecraft, SpaceShipOne, to launch altitude. Michael Belfiore, Popular Mechanics, "Say Hello to Stratolaunch, the World's Largest Plane," 17 Apr. 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mother ship.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of mother ship

1867, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mother ship

Statistics for mother ship

Last Updated

3 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mother ship

The first known use of mother ship was in 1867

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mother ship

mother ship


English Language Learners Definition of mother ship

: a large ship or spaceship that sends out boats or smaller spaceships to explore, do scientific research, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on mother ship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mother ship Encyclopedia article about mother ship

Comments on mother ship

What made you want to look up mother ship? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!