noun (plural men-of-war also men-o'-war)historical
1An armed sailing ship.
- Jones, a man known for his attention to detail in shipbuilding praised the craftsmanship of the Portsmouth workers when they built the man-of-war, America, in 1782.
- Modern designers might well pine for a vessel with the nearly unlimited range, comparatively low construction cost, and ease of repair and resupply offered by the sailing man-of-war.
- The stronger and longer the wind blows onshore, the more likely men-of-war will be around.
1.1 (also man-o'-war bird) another term for frigate bird.
- It is certain that on moonlit nights the man-of-war bird may be seen for hours floating far above the sea.
- Santiago sees a man-of-war bird circling in the sky ahead of him.
- Small birds are altogether absent and, except the ordinary domestic fowl, we found only the tropic or man-of-war bird, petrels, gulls, and a variety of aquatic birds.
1.2 short for Portuguese man-of-war.
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