noun, often attributive
\ ˈship \

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 3 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


noun suffix

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 \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for ship

Synonyms: Noun

boat, keel, vessel

Synonyms: Verb

consign, dispatch, pack (off), send, shoot, transfer, transmit, transport

Antonyms: Verb

accept, receive

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Examples of ship in a Sentence


the captain of the ship He will travel by ship.


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

Private transfers from the airport, pre-cruise hotels, post-cruise hotels, guided tours and almost all meals on and off the ship –it's all part of the package. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "Exclusive events, all-inclusive fares: Inside the Tauck formula for small-ship cruising," 13 July 2018 There’s also something a little disconcerting about the action shifting from the hotel to the ship. Rick Bentley, Detroit Free Press, "Review: ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ is a little short on zing," 12 July 2018 After the September storm, the ship was stripped down to its frame and then completely rebuilt — and given new sails — over the course of almost 10 months. Dewayne Bevil,, "Legoland Florida: Hurricane-ripped ship back in theme park's pirate show," 11 July 2018 Unfurling over the city like an enormous black umbrella, all moving spars and flanges, was the ship. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A transgender girl rises up against alien invaders in Rich Larson’s novel Annex," 8 July 2018 Meanwhile, backscatter instruments atop the ship scanned seafloor for any hard objects. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists May Have Found Meteorite Fragments in the Ocean," 8 July 2018 The ship underwent refurbishment in 2014 with dry dock improvements to infrastructure in October, the company said. Doreen Christensen,, "Free $50 credit or kids sail free on Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line," 6 July 2018 Yesterday, the ship began mapping and sampling the search zone, looking for bits of the meteorite. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "A Research Ship Is Hunting Meteorite Fragments Off the Coast of Washington," 4 July 2018 The ship then sprouted opaque plastic sides to prevent men from looking at the women, and bright lights to dazzle the gawpers. The Economist, "A wild rideRadical reforms in Saudi Arabia are changing the Gulf and the Arab world," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

They are taken over by pirates when they are being shipped from Jamaica to England to get an education. Amy Sutherland,, "Fond of writers from a generation back," 12 July 2018 Feathers are sorted before being shipped at Dersh Feather & Trading in Manhattan. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "‘Odd Couple’ Mark 100 Years of Putting Feathers in Others’ Caps," 10 July 2018 As a result, Hart was resigned to returning to Manchester and being shipped out on loan once more - this time to West Ham., "Joe Hart Returns to Man City for Pre-Season as England Teammates Continue World Cup Success," 8 July 2018 Police said the parts needed to assemble a working rifle, including magazines of ammunition, were shipped in from out of state. Richard Winton,, "L.A. gangs stockpile untraceable 'ghost guns' that members make themselves," 6 July 2018 Last week, authorities seized 110 pounds of synthetic opioid fentanyl being shipped through Philadelphia. Aubrey Nagle,, "Philly preps for the Fourth, Allentown Cadets march on | Morning Newsletter," 3 July 2018 Bhagat said the bikes are shipped all over the country and around the world to areas like Europe and the Middle East. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "South Milwaukee Police add motorized, locally built 'Cheata Bike' to their relaunched bicycle patrol," 2 July 2018 Most automakers operate processing centers in the port, where incoming vehicles receive owner’s manuals, stereos and other accessories before being shipped to dealerships in the Mid-Atlantic states and beyond. Colin Campbell,, "From Jaguars to 'junkers,' Baltimore longshoremen are first and last behind the wheel," 21 May 2018 Jessica Ilunga said 4,000 doses of vaccine were shipped on Saturday to the city of Mbandaka, which last week registered the first cases in an urban area since the latest flare-up of the disease was announced earlier this month. NBC News, "Congo begins Ebola vaccinations with 4,000 doses already shipped," 20 May 2018

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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More Definitions for ship



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


noun suffix

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 \

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


noun suffix
\ 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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Comments on ship

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


the setting in which something occurs

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