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 Authorities there say Iran had promised the ship, which carries 2.1 million barrels of crude oil worth some $130 million, wouldn’t go to Syria. Jon Gambrell,, "UN atomic official in Iran as it runs advanced centrifuges," 8 Sep. 2019 All of them, clutching bare suitcases, hoped to return back to the U.S. with a cruise ship that had just arrived and was planning to leave for Palm Beach later that night with 1,500 precious seats. Andrew Boryga,, "Desperate Bahamians may be stranded after Hurricane Dorian," 7 Sep. 2019 In the hours after the ship went down, news of their loved ones’ fate gradually reached the victims’ relatives. Los Angeles Times, "Boat fire victims include a family with three daughters, a marine biologist and a dive instructor," 4 Sep. 2019 That news is particularly harrowing for Domenic Selga, who lost five members of his family when the ship went up in flames. CBS News, "Man who lost five family members in California boat fire: "You don't want to believe it"," 4 Sep. 2019 Where were their parents really going when that ship went down? Marc Snetiker,, "Frozen 2 teases Anna and Elsa's parents, a proposal, and an 'Unknown' showstopper," 24 Aug. 2019 A century later, a handful of countries are still building carriers, with ships under construction in the U.S., U.K., China, India, and Italy. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "China's Troubled Aircraft Carrier Proves Why It's So Hard To Build Them," 14 Aug. 2019 Our hero didn’t really want to go down with the ship. Megan Fernandes, The New Yorker, "Scylla and Charybdis," 12 Aug. 2019 Crisp’s and Blair’s characters go down with the ship, while Hindley’s grabs a seat in a lifeboat garbed as a woman. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, "On Theater: A ‘Titanic’ hit musical at the Attic Community Theatre," 12 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When the railroad was finished, 10,000 of the most fit British and Australian survivors were taken to Singapore to be shipped to Japan to work in mines or industrial plants. Carl Nolte,, "Yes, she’s a Fisherman’s Wharf tourist attraction. But her story could make you cry," 14 Sep. 2019 That breakdown cost an estimated $15 million, forced tens of thousands of tons of trash to be shipped for out-of-state disposal, and resulted in a 15.3 percent increase in fees for 51 member cities and towns. Gregory B. Hladky,, "Hartford trash-to-energy plant back in operation after another breakdown," 29 Aug. 2019 Everything can be shipped back in one big box with a return label that's already paid for and provided in advance. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Amazon Prime Wardrobe," 28 Aug. 2019 The rover itself is nearing completion in Stevenage and will then be shipped to Airbus in Toulouse for a programme of environmental testing to prepare it for launch. Dominic Rech, CNN, "Europe is sending an alien-hunting camera to Mars," 20 Aug. 2019 An unidentified man went to a business in Ontario around 7:45 a.m. Friday and provided paperwork that the cheese would be shipped to New Brunswick. Fox News, "Police look to grill cheese bandit after $187G theft, officials say," 19 Aug. 2019 The remaining items can be shipped back in the re-sealable box that comes with a prepaid label. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Amazon Fashion Launches a Personal Styling Service⁠—Will Customers Actually Use It?," 30 July 2019 Both the Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract Tincture, available in three sizes, and Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract Salve are available online and can be shipped to any state in the US. Sponsored Content With Pure Farmaceuticals, Houston Chronicle, "6 Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety," 29 July 2019 In recent years, deportations have dropped because U.S. authorities have run out of space to hold immigrants ordered to be shipped out of the country. NBC News, "ICE to launch mass raids targeting undocumented families on Sunday," 21 June 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


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

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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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