na·​val | \ˈnā-vəl \

Definition of naval 

1 obsolete : of or relating to ships or shipping

2a : of or relating to a navy

b : consisting of or involving warships

Examples of naval in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

China’s Ministry of Defense on Friday confirmed plans for joint naval exercises with Thailand and Malaysia, and said the purpose is to improve trust and cooperation among the countries. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "With Naval Exercises, China Cozies Up to U.S. Friends in Southeast Asia," 19 Oct. 2018 He was eulogized there by his daughter Meghan and former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, one of the architect's of the Vietnam War, in which McCain so famously served as a naval officer. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Henry Kissinger's Eulogy for John McCain," 1 Sep. 2018 Just over two weeks ago, Iran test-fired a ballistic missile as a brazen display of defiance, which coincided with the naval exercise, three U.S. officials with knowledge of the launch told Fox News at the time. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Iran claims it controls Strait of Hormuz, prompting Pompeo denial," 27 Aug. 2018 Wallace writes, the commandant of the prison offered to let McCain, the son of a top-ranking US naval officer, go. Caroline Houck, Vox, "Who was John McCain? The best answer is in this 18-year-old David Foster Wallace essay," 26 Aug. 2018 It was made for Osborne House, a training college for naval officers on the Isle of Wight. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Google Doodle Honors the Inventor of the First Powered Vacuum Cleaner Hubert Cecil Booth," 5 July 2018 Within half a day, the team had identified a naval officer who offered to fly the squids out of a base in Roda, Spain. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Operation Calamari: How the Smithsonian Got Its Giant Squids," 21 June 2018 His service as a naval aviator took him around the world and eventually to the war in Vietnam. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Vice President Mike Pence Pays Tribute to John McCain in Speech at His Memorial Service," 31 Aug. 2018 Their naval careers overlapped in World War II and Vietnam. Ken Moritsugu,, "US Navy dedicates Japan-based destroyer to McCain," 13 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for naval

Middle English, from Latin navalis, from navis ship

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Statistics for naval

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for naval

The first known use of naval was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for naval



English Language Learners Definition of naval

: of or relating to a country's navy


na·​val | \ˈnā-vəl \

Kids Definition of naval

: of or relating to a navy or warships naval vessels

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More from Merriam-Webster on naval

Spanish Central: Translation of naval

Nglish: Translation of naval for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of naval for Arabic Speakers

Comments on naval

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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