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Frigate Apurímac (Peru, 1855)


From French frégate, from Italian fregata.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈfɹɪɡ.ət/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪɡət


frigate (plural frigates)

  1. (nautical) Any of several types of warship:
    1. (historical) A sailing warship (of any size) built for speed and maneuverability; typically without raised upperworks, having a flush forecastle and tumblehome sides. [late 15th–mid-18th c.]
    2. (historical) A sailing warship with a single continuous gun deck, typically used for patrolling and blockading duties, but not considered large enough for the line of battle. [mid-18th–mid-19th c.]
    3. (historical) A warship combining sail and steam propulsion, typically of ironclad timber construction, supplementing and superseding sailing ships of the line at the beginning of the development of the ironclad battleship. [mid 19th–late 19th c.]
    4. (historical) An escort warship, smaller than a destroyer, introduced in World War 2 as an anti-submarine vessel. [mid 20th c.]
    5. A modern type of warship, equivalent in size or smaller than a destroyer, often focused on anti-submarine warfare, but sometimes general purpose. [from mid-20th c.]
  2. (fiction) A warship or space warship, inspired by one of the many historic varieties of frigate.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Starships: Frigates Codex entry:
      Frigates are light escort and scouting vessels. They often have extensive GARDIAN systems to provide anti-fighter screening for capital ships, and carry a squad of marines for security and groundside duty. Unlike larger vessels, frigates are able to land on planets.
  3. A frigatebird (Fregata spp.).
    • 2008, Anthony S. Cheke, Julian Pender Hume, Lost Land of the Dodo:
      These frigates are all so lazy, that they perch by day on the trees, at the edge of the sea, awaiting the other birds []

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