noun, often attributive
\ ˈship How to pronounce ship (audio) \

Definition of ship

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a large seagoing vessel
b : a sailing vessel having a bowsprit and usually three masts each composed of a lower mast, a topmast, and a topgallant mast
2 : boat especially : one propelled by power or sail
3 : a ship's crew
4 : fortune sense 2 when their ship comes in they'll be able to live in better style


shipped; shipping

Definition of ship (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to place or receive on board a ship for transportation by water
b : to cause to be transported shipped him off to prep school
2 obsolete : to provide with a ship
3 : to put in place for use ship the tiller
4 : to take into a ship or boat ship the gangplank
5 : to engage for service on a ship
6 : to take (water) over the side used of a boat or a ship

intransitive verb

1 : to embark on a ship
2a : to go or travel by ship often used with out
b : to proceed by ship or other means under military orders often used with out
3 : to engage to serve on shipboard
4 : to be sent for delivery the order will ship soon

Definition of -ship (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : state : condition : quality friendship
2 : office : dignity : profession clerkship
3 : art : skill horsemanship
4 : something showing, exhibiting, or embodying a quality or state township fellowship
5 : one entitled to a (specified) rank, title, or appellation his Lordship
6 : the body of persons participating in a specified activity readership listenership

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Other Words from ship


shippable \ ˈshi-​pə-​bəl How to pronounce shippable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for ship

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of ship in a Sentence

Noun the captain of the ship He will travel by ship. Verb The goods were shipped from a foreign port. Your order is expected to ship soon. The company will ship its new software next month. The software will ship next month. The soldiers were shipped overseas for duty. When the waves increased, the boat began shipping water.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Similar plans are in the works for the other spaces, including the upstairs Phantasy Niteclub, home to a pirate ship that juts onto the dance floor. Eric Heisig, cleveland, "Lakewood’s Phantasy concert venue to be crown jewel of LGBTQ entertainment complex," 26 June 2020 The new batteries arrived last month on a Japanese cargo ship. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA astronauts conduct a spacewalk for space station power upgrades," 26 June 2020 Before the pandemic, the in Topeka allowed kids to roam indoors and out, from the grain pit and science lab to the pirate ship and treehouse. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, "Cultural institutions reopen with a more hands-off approach," 25 June 2020 Some sailors aboard the ship have been left disappointed because of the lack of port calls and have had to find creative ways to entertain themselves while on the enormous vessels. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Navy ships break record for longest time at sea during coronavirus pandemic," 25 June 2020 The soybeans then sit on a cargo ship at air temperatures for three to six weeks on their way to China, according to Friedrichs. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "China wants U.S. soybeans checked for coronavirus, further complicating the trade deal with Trump," 24 June 2020 Hundreds aboard the ship tested positive for COVID-19. CBS News, "Fired Captain Brett Crozier of USS Theodore Roosevelt will not be reinstated," 19 June 2020 Other states on the list are Arizona, Arkansas and Maryland, as well as well as anyone who has been on a cruise ship or traveled internationally. Leada Gore |, al, "Kansas adds Alabama to travel quarantine list," 18 June 2020 That is presumably why Thomas Modly, America’s then navy secretary, rashly sacked the Roosevelt’s captain, who had sounded the alarm about conditions on the ship. The Economist, "Horsemen of the apocalypse Covid-19 raises the risks of violent conflict," 18 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Still, in mid-February, the U.S. Commerce Department published a flyer with tips for U.S. companies that wanted to ship face masks, ventilators and other supplies to China, which had temporarily lifted some registration requirements for imports. Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY, "Despite warnings, the US wasn’t prepared with masks for coronavirus. Now it’s too late.," 1 July 2020 After the Minnesota legislature failed to send $841 million to local governments during its special session, five groups representing 853 cities asked Gov. Tim Walz to ship it through other means. Scott Mcclallen, Washington Examiner, "Local government groups urge Walz to distribute $841M 'as soon as possible'," 24 June 2020 The benchmark price of aluminum traded in London is down 12% this year, and the price paid to ship metal to the U.S. Midwest -- a critical part of the all-in price for domestic producers -- is down more than 40%. Joe Deaux,, "U.S. Poised to Slap 10% Tariff Again on Aluminum From Canada," 23 June 2020 The new-look Helios 300 will ship with 10th-gen Intel processors, graphics up to an overclockable GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, and a blistering 240Hz option for the 15.6-inch display. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Acer overhauls Predator gaming laptops with 10th-gen CPUs, RTX Super GPUs, and ultra-fast displays," 23 June 2020 The company diagnosed that issue and will ship a new rocket up to Alaska at the end of this month, for a launch window that opens on July 20. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Another no-go for MOMO rocket, SpaceX invests in McGregor," 19 June 2020 Travelers can pick up items at the office, or the airport will ship it to them. Nataly Keomoungkhoun, Dallas News, "What happens to unclaimed items found at DFW or Love Field airports? Curious Texas investigates," 19 June 2020 Construction has started on another massive Amazon e-commerce warehouse in the Houston area, a building where robots will be used to ship and pack items for customers around the world. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Amazon to build massive warehouse southwest of Houston," 18 June 2020 While the book is expected to ship in a few weeks, players can order the book now for just $20. Nina Huang,, "The official Animal Crossing: New Horizons guide is back in stock — and on sale," 17 June 2020

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for ship


Middle English, from Old English scip; akin to Old High German skif ship

Noun suffix

Middle English, from Old English -scipe; akin to Old High German -scaft -ship, Old English scieppan to shape — more at shape

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Time Traveler for ship

Time Traveler

The first known use of ship was before the 12th century

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Statistics for ship

Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for ship


How to pronounce -ship (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ship

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a large boat used for traveling long distances over the sea
: a large airplane or spacecraft



English Language Learners Definition of ship (Entry 2 of 3)

: to send (something) to a customer
: to send (a new product) to stores so that it can be bought by customers
: to send (someone) to a place that is usually far away

English Language Learners Definition of -ship (Entry 3 of 3)

: the state or condition of being something
: the position, status, or duties of something
: skill or ability as someone or something


\ ˈship How to pronounce ship (audio) \

Kids Definition of ship

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a large boat designed for travel by sea
3 : a vehicle for traveling beyond the earth's atmosphere a rocket ship


shipped; shipping

Kids Definition of ship (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to cause to be transported The grain was shipped by rail.
2 : to put or receive on board for transportation by water
3 : to send (someone) to a place They shipped her off to boarding school.
4 : to take into a ship or boat ship oars ship water
5 : to sign on as a crew member on a ship
\ ˌship \

Kids Definition of -ship

1 : state : condition : quality friendship
2 : office : rank : profession authorship
3 : skill penmanship
4 : something showing a quality or state of being championship township
5 : someone having a specified rank your Lordship

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More from Merriam-Webster on ship

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ship

Spanish Central: Translation of ship

Nglish: Translation of ship for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ship for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ship

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