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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another study posted in mid-July (and also not yet peer-reviewed), reported on what happened on the Diamond Princess cruise ship early in the Covid-19 outbreak. Joanne Silberner, Smithsonian Magazine, "Exactly How Far Should You Distance From Others to Avoid Covid-19?," 22 Sep. 2020 Finally, in August 1956, an uprising erupted among the deportees on one ship, forcing it to reroute to the port of Tampico, where several dozen hurled themselves overboard to escape. Julia Preston, The New York Review of Books, "Deportation Nation," 22 Sep. 2020 Alarm bells started ringing when seven or eight quarantine officers, nurses and officials caught the virus on the ship. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "As infections ebb, Japan hopes it has cracked the covid code on coexisting with the virus," 19 Sep. 2020 Within two days, Carillo and 15 other students from the academy, some of whom had never been on a ship before, were part of its crew. Pat Eaton-robb,, "Pandemic spells opportunity for Coast Guard cadets marooned at New London academy," 16 Sep. 2020 Sailors also talked to the youngsters about being on a ship. Sheryl Devore,, "Navy museum brings Lego building event, contest online," 9 Sep. 2020 Cutting on the ship had been scheduled to begin in late July, but was delayed after nine workers tested positive for COVID-19. Russ Bynum, Star Tribune, "Extra virus safeguards planned for overturned ship removal," 8 Sep. 2020 The names were read of surviving WWII veterans, including 14 who were on the ship the day the Japanese surrendered. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "WWII anniversary, liquor boom, tracking app: News from around our 50 states," 5 Sep. 2020 But for the passengers at home, the journey on the good ship Atlas can be pretty bumpy. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: New on Netflix, soapy drama with ‘Away’ and meat worship from ‘Chef’s Table: BBQ’," 4 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While the announcement will take place in September, Apple doesn’t plan to ship the new iPhones until October. Mark Gurman, Fortune, "Apple is holding a Sept. 15 online event, where it’s likely to unveil its latest iPhones and Watches," 8 Sep. 2020 In 2015, Arizona tried to ship thiopental from out of the country. Lauren Castle, The Arizona Republic, "Governor: More work to do before death row inmates are executed," 5 Sep. 2020 Some observers grumbled that Intel should have waited to launch Tiger Lake until PC makers were ready to ship. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel Tiger Lake laptops will begin shipping in October," 3 Sep. 2020 This wrap is made from 100% cotton and is ready to ship in 1-2 business days. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "Furoshiki Wraps Are the Eco-Friendly Packaging You'll See Everywhere This Holiday Season," 2 Sep. 2020 Apple plans to ship the lower-end phones sooner than the Pro devices, according to people familiar with the staggered release strategy. Mark Gurman,, "Apple Preparing 75 Million 5G iPhones Alongside New Watches and iPad," 1 Sep. 2020 The Dutch electrical equipment maker will now make 12,300 of the hospital ventilators, and won't ship the remaining 30,700. Harold Maass, TheWeek, "The daily business briefing: August 31, 2020," 31 Aug. 2020 In 2019, Direct Relief joined forces with the Clinton Foundation, the National Alliance for Recovery Residences and the Voices Project to ship naloxone to recovery homes in Arkansas, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY, "Clinton Foundation works to put naloxone in recovery homes as opioid epidemic is overshadowed by COVID pandemic," 31 Aug. 2020 After processing the waste into a safer form, the Energy Department intends to ship most of the material to be stored in a disposal ground in rural New Mexico. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Trump administration reaches settlement to remove weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina," 31 Aug. 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

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ship.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 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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