Torpedo Tor*pe"do, n.; pl. {Torpedoes}. [L. torpedo, -inis, from torpere to be stiff, numb, or torpid. See {Torpid}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of elasmobranch fishes belonging to {Torpedo} and allied genera. They are related to the rays, but have the power of giving electrical shocks. Called also {crampfish}, and {numbfish}. See {Electrical fish}, under {Electrical}. [1913 Webster]

Note: The common European torpedo ({Torpedo vulgaris}) and the American species ({Torpedo occidentalis}) are the best known. [1913 Webster]

2. An engine or machine for destroying ships by blowing them up; a mine[4]. Specifically: [1913 Webster +PJC] (a) A quantity of explosives anchored in a channel, beneath the water, or set adrift in a current, and so designed that they will explode when touched or approached by a vessel, or when an electric circuit is closed by an operator on shore; now called {marine mine}. [obsolete] [1913 Webster +PJC]

Damn the torpedoes -- full speed ahead! --Adm. David Glasgow Farragut (At the battle of Mobile Bay, 1864). (b) A kind of small submarine boat carrying an explosive charge, and projected from a ship against another ship at a distance, or made self-propelling, and otherwise automatic in its action against a distant ship. [1913 Webster]

3. (Mil.) A kind of shell or cartridge buried in earth, to be exploded by electricity or by stepping on it; now called {land mine}. [obsolete] [1913 Webster +PJC]

4. (Railroad) A kind of detonating cartridge or shell placed on a rail, and exploded when crushed under the locomotive wheels, -- used as an alarm signal. [1913 Webster]

5. An explosive cartridge or shell lowered or dropped into a bored oil well, and there exploded, to clear the well of obstructions or to open communication with a source of supply of oil. [1913 Webster]

6. A kind of firework in the form of a small ball, or pellet, which explodes when thrown upon a hard object. [1913 Webster]

7. An automobile with a {torpedo body}. [Archaic Cant] [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

{Fish torpedo}, a spindle-shaped, or fish-shaped, self-propelling submarine torpedo.

{Spar torpedo}, a canister or other vessel containing an explosive charge, and attached to the end of a long spar which projects from a ship or boat and is thrust against an enemy's ship, exploding the torpedo.

{Torpedo boat}, a vessel adapted for carrying, launching, operating, or otherwise making use of, torpedoes against an enemy's ship., especially, a small, fast boat with tubes for launching torpedoes.

{Torpedo nettings}, nettings made of chains or bars, which can be suspended around a vessel and allowed to sink beneath the surface of the water, as a protection against torpedoes. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • torpedoes — tor·pe·do || tÉ”r pɪːdəʊ /tɔː n. self propelled underwater missile launched from a submarine or boat; (Zoology) fish that has electric organs and is able to give electrical shock from its organs and enlarged pectoral (lives in tropical or …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Damn the Torpedoes (album) — Damn the Torpedoes Studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Released …   Wikipedia

  • Damn the Torpedoes — Студийный альбом …   Википедия

  • Damn the torpedoes — may refer to: A quotation attributed to David Farragut, referring to an order given at the Battle of Mobile Bay Damn the Torpedoes (album), a 1979 album by Tom Petty the Heartbreakers Damn the Torpedoes , a 1971 book by J. E. Macdonnell Damn the… …   Wikipedia

  • Living torpedoes — ( pl. Żywe torpedy; also Straceńcy “Desperates”) was a social and military phenomenon which began in the Second Polish Republic in mid 1939, when the threat from Nazi Germany became real. The idea for creating the human torpedo unit was very… …   Wikipedia

  • List of torpedoes — The list of torpedoes includes all torpedoes operated in the past or present, listed alphabetically.See also:* List of torpedoes by country By name 18 inch Mark VII * Country of origin: India * Year: 1965 * Operators: * Role: frigate, boats,… …   Wikipedia

  • Damn the Torpedoes — Album par Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Sortie 19 octobre 1979 Enregistrement 1979 Sound City, Van Nuys Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, Californie Durée 36 min 40 s …   Wikipédia en Français

  • List of World War II torpedoes of Germany — Modifications:; FAT : Federapparat or Flächenabsuchender Torpedo ( spring device or area searching torpedo ), a mechanical device changes the torpedo s course over time so that it runs up and down on parallel lines of 800 or 1600 m length; LUT :… …   Wikipedia

  • List of torpedoes by country — By country = Europe * DCNS/WASS BlackShark 533 mm torpedo (Modern) * EuroTorp A244 324 mm torpedo (Modern) * EuroTorp MU90 Impact 324 mm torpedo (Modern) France * DCN F17 533 mm torpedo (Modern) Germany * G7a torpedo (WWII, wet heater) * G7e… …   Wikipedia

  • Torpedo — The modern torpedo (historically called an automotive, automobile, locomotive, or fish torpedo) is a self propelled explosive projectile weapon, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater toward a target, and designed to… …   Wikipedia

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