Trend Watch

Trump: 'We Are Sending an Armada'

'A fleet of warships'

Armada streamed to the fore of our lookups on April 12th, 2017, after the word was used by Donald Trump to describe the collection of Navy vessels recently dispatched to the western Pacific.

North Korean state media warned on Tuesday of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression, as a U.S. Navy strike group steamed toward the western Pacific - a force U.S. President Donald Trump described as an “armada”.
—Sue-Lin Wong and David Brunnstrom, Reuters (, 12 Apr. 2017

“We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier,” Trump told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo. “We have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this: he is doing the wrong thing.”
—Julia Limitone, Fox Business (, 12 Apr. 2017

Armada came to our language from Spanish, and the word is strongly identified with the Great Armada of 1588, a 120-ship fleet sent by Philip II of Spain to England (things did not end well for the Spanish armada). However, the word was in use in our language for at least 50 years prior to this. Armada is still frequently used to refer to a fleet or warships, but has also taken on somewhat extended meanings, and may also refer to a large collection of things, particularly moving vehicles.

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