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 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 How to pronounce shippable (audio) \ 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

Oliver and his partners chose the Minerva Reef—named after a ship that was wrecked on it in the 1820s—which is about 450 miles south of Fiji and 260 miles east of Tonga. Diana Budds, Curbed, "This failed utopia from the 1970s sparked an international dispute," 12 July 2019 In the latest incident, a British naval ship intervened Thursday after a trio of Iranian vessels reportedly tried to block a U.K. oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, a critical choke point through which roughly one-third of the world’s oil passes. NBC News, "Gas prices may take a hit as storm moves into Gulf of Mexico," 11 July 2019 Authorities seized a cargo ship carrying nearly 20 tons of cocaine in Philadelphia last month. Matt Mcnulty,, "Seized Cargo Ship Carrying 20 Tons of Cocaine Owned by JPMorgan Chase," 11 July 2019 Police say 1-year-old Chloe Wiegand of Northern Indiana fell to her death from the 11th story of a cruise ship docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Rick Callahan, USA TODAY, "'They're absolutely devastated:' Family of 18-month-old girl killed in cruise ship fall to return home," 10 July 2019 An Indiana toddler who plunged to her death from the 11th story of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico fell from a window that had been left open, an attorney for the girl’s family said Tuesday. Fox News, "Indiana toddler fell to death from open window on cruise ship, attorney says," 10 July 2019 On July 22 the ashes of Lauren, Carolyn, and John were deposited in the Atlantic during a brief ceremony on a navy ship reportedly attended by 17 family members. Adrienne Gaffney, Town & Country, "The Other Passenger: Who Was Lauren Bessette?," 9 July 2019 Others, including Mary Ann Brown Patten, the first woman to sail a clipper ship around Cape Horn; Charlotte Cushman, a popular actress who played both male and female parts; and Mary Ann Meade, a daguerreotypist in her own right—are lesser known. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "How the Camera Introduced Americans to Their Heroines," 9 July 2019 Coal futures: Fred and Cindy Warmbier, the Cincinnati-area parents of Otto Warmbier, have filed a claim against a North Korean ship the U.S. seized that was filled with coal, which is a violation of sanctions. Laura Hancock,, "Ohio budget negotiations resume after break: Capitol Letter," 8 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The company doesn’t like to ship fish now because the main option for insulation is Styrofoam, Peterson said. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Using fungi, UAA team develops biodegradable insulation for shipping Alaska seafood," 14 July 2019 The Medford Mail-Tribune reports the Canadian company Pembina wants to build a 229-mile underground pipeline to ship natural gas overseas to Asian markets. USA TODAY, "Crystal Cathedral reborn Catholic, 'Conjuring' house, Wiki ‘editathon’: News from around our 50 states," 11 July 2019 According to a representative from Kroger, Prime Day seemed like the perfect time to make consumers aware that, unlike Amazon, Kroger Wine is more than ready to ship budget-friendly libations straight to their doors. Hannah Chubb,, "Kroger Is Delivering $9 Bottles of Wine to Rival Amazon Prime Day," 11 July 2019 Flake said the company paid to ship about 30 MacBook Pros to Ebeye, one of the more densely populated islands in the Marshall Islands, to set up a mobile computer lab. Jeannette Hinkle, azcentral, "Jeff Flake takes tech executives on survivalist trip to Marshall Islands," 10 July 2019 Boeing suspended Max deliveries in March but continues to ship an older 737 model called the NG., "Chicago’s Boeing falling far behind rival Airbus as 737 Max crisis takes toll," 10 July 2019 But the government was required to ship 98 percent of the material out of the country. NBC News, "Iran is breaching limits on uranium enrichment, but there's still time for diplomacy, experts say," 7 July 2019 The Grace 1, able to ship 2 million barrels of crude oil, was intercepted by detachments of Royal Marines and Gibraltarian police, who boarded the tanker from a helicopter and speed boat in the early hours of Thursday morning. Time, "British Marines Seize Supertanker Carrying Iranian Oil to Syria, Causing Diplomatic Row," 4 July 2019 Tesla attributed much of that drop to logistical issues as the company began shipping the Model 3 overseas. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Tesla sets a record for sales, and its stock jumps 7%," 2 July 2019

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 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


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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More from Merriam-Webster on ship

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ship

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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