Frigate Frig"ate, n. [F. fr['e]gate, It. fregata, prob. contracted fr. L. fabricata something constructed or built. See {Fabricate}.] 1. Originally, a vessel of the Mediterranean propelled by sails and by oars. The French, about 1650, transferred the name to larger vessels, and by 1750 it had been appropriated for a class of war vessels intermediate between corvettes and ships of the line. Frigates, from about 1750 to 1850, had one full battery deck and, often, a spar deck with a lighter battery. They carried sometimes as many as fifty guns. After the application of steam to navigation steam frigates of largely increased size and power were built, and formed the main part of the navies of the world till about 1870, when the introduction of ironclads superseded them. [Formerly spelled {frigat} and {friggot}.] [1913 Webster]

2. Any small vessel on the water. [Obs.] --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

{Frigate bird} (Zo["o]l.), a web-footed rapacious bird, of the genus {Fregata}; -- called also {man-of-war bird}, and {frigate pelican}. Two species are known; that of the Southern United States and West Indies is {F. aquila}. They are remarkable for their long wings and powerful flight. Their food consists of fish which they obtain by robbing gulls, terns, and other birds, of their prey. They are related to the pelicans.

{Frigate mackerel} (Zo["o]l.), an oceanic fish ({Auxis Rochei}) of little or no value as food, often very abundant off the coast of the United States.

{Frigate pelican}. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {Frigate bird}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • frigate — ► NOUN 1) a warship with a mixed armament, generally lighter than a destroyer. 2) historical a sailing warship of a size just below that of a ship of the line. ORIGIN Italian fregata …   English terms dictionary

  • frigate — [frig′it] n. [Fr frégate < It fregata] 1. a fast, medium sized sailing warship of the 18th and early 19th cent., which carried from 24 to 60 guns 2. a Brit. warship between a corvette and a destroyer 3. a) until 1975, a U.S. warship larger… …   English World dictionary

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  • frigate — /frig it/, n. 1. a fast naval vessel of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, generally having a lofty ship rig and heavily armed on one or two decks. 2. any of various types of modern naval vessels ranging in size from a destroyer escort to a… …   Universalium

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  • frigate — UK [ˈfrɪɡət] / US noun [countable] Word forms frigate : singular frigate plural frigates a small fast ship used by a navy to protect other ships …   English dictionary

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  • frigate — n. 1 a Brit. a naval escort vessel between a corvette and a destroyer in size. b US a similar ship between a destroyer and a cruiser in size. 2 hist. a warship next in size to ships of the line. Phrases and idioms: frigate bird any marine bird of …   Useful english dictionary

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