su·​per·​tank·​er ˈsü-pər-ˌtaŋ-kər How to pronounce supertanker (audio)
plural supertankers
: an exceptionally large and fast cargo ship fitted with tanks for carrying liquid (such as oil) in bulk
… vessels of more than 35,000 tons—large but no giants in a world of supertankersWilliam H. MacLeish
… interrupts the … discussion with a warning that supertankers carrying liquefied gas are extremely dangerous.John Hersey

Examples of supertanker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Sea Port Oil Terminal being developed off Freeport, Texas, will be able to load two supertankers at once, with an export capacity of 2 million barrels of crude oil per day. Matthew Daly, Quartz, 11 Apr. 2024 Regulations that went into effect in 2020 reduced the amount of sulfur in the fuel used by supertankers. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 15 Mar. 2024 Roughly speaking, that is about 1.5 oil supertankers of magma every 24 hours. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 29 Feb. 2024 Instead, every 10 days or so an oil supertanker arrives at a refinery near the Honolulu port, producing almost 80% of the state’s energy, said Mikulina. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2024 Turning a presidential race around is like trying to free a supertanker stuck in a waterpark wave pool. Christian Schneider, National Review, 18 Jan. 2024 That’s five times bigger than the Titanic, and the Icon is only 300 feet shorter than the longest ship ever built, the oil supertanker Seawise Giant. The Week Staff, theweek, 15 Jan. 2024 In 1989, the Exxon Valdez supertanker ran aground on Bligh Reef, dumping more then ten million gallons of thick black crude into Prince William Sound. J. Besl, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 June 2023 Aguilar’s interest in politics and current events began when the Exxon Valdez oil supertanker spewed nearly 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s coastal waters. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 23 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'supertanker.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1921, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of supertanker was in 1921

Dictionary Entries Near supertanker

Cite this Entry

“Supertanker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a very large cargo ship fitted with tanks for carrying large amounts of liquid

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