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See also: Argosy



Alteration of Italian ragusea (a large ship), after the maritime city of Ragusa, now Dubrovnik.


argosy (plural argosies)

  1. A merchant ship.
  2. A merchant flotilla, fleet.
    • 1594, Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew:
      Gremio, 'tis known my father hath no less Than three great argosies, besides two galliasses, And twelve tight galleys; these I will assure her, And twice as much, whate'er thou offer'st next.
  3. An abundant supply, boatload.
    • 1882, A.H. Morrison, Galt, “Words: Their Abuses, Uses, and Beauties”, in The Canada Educational Monthly and School Magazine, page 58: smiting with irresistible force some adamantine rock of gross ignorance or cruel superstition, there shaking with its mighty voice of thunder some dread abyss where lurks the taint of covert vice, or crouches the misshapen form of monstrous irreligion, coursing through gloomy chasms and deep dark ravines, and laying bare to the glorious rays of universal and progressive intelligence the golden sands of philosophic lore and scientific research, ever widening, ever expanding, the while bearing richly-freighted argosies of accumulated lore onward through years, and ephochs, and cycles — forever onward — to the borad bosom of that illimitable ocean of perfected wisdom which, unsweapt by temporal gale, unruffled by even a transient breeze of earthly misconception or scepticism, placid and profound, sleeps forever beneath the beams of the eternal sun.
    • 1921, Sir James George Frazer, Apollodorus: The Library (Loeb Classical Library), volume I, Introduction, § 1: “The Author and His Book”, page xxxiii:
      Yet we may be grateful to him for saving for us from the wreck of ancient literature some waifs and strays which, but for his humble labours, might have sunk irretrievably with so many golden argosies in the fathomless ocean of the past.
    • 1996, Richard Taruskin, Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions, →ISBN:
      Pushkin's passage adumbrates the specific contents of Atravinsky's first and third tableaux, which suggests it may actually have helped guide the composer's imagination as he threaded his way among the songs in Kireyevsky's, Tereshchenko's, and Sakharov's immense argosies of wedding lore.
    • 2017, Michael Shapiro, The Speaking Self: Language Lore and English Usage, →ISBN:
      Returning to the Shakespeare lines with which this discussion began, one should note that “Rose” is nowhere to be found among the hundred currently most popular girls' given names in America, having been elbowed out by argosies of Tiffanys, Courtneys, Kimberlys et al.