Definition of torpedo in English:

torpedo

Syllabification: tor·pe·do
Pronunciation: /tôrˈpēdō
 
/

noun (plural torpedoes)

1A cigar-shaped self-propelled underwater missile designed to be fired from a ship or submarine or dropped into the water from an aircraft and to explode on reaching a target.
More example sentences
  • All aircraft dropped their bombs or torpedoes over the target, but on the return leg Beaufort A9-217 lost contact with the rest of the squadron and failed to return.
  • Two torpedo tubes are designed for firing remote-controlled torpedoes with a very high accuracy.
  • The ADF currently uses Mk46 Mod 1 Phase 11 and Mk 46 Mod 5a torpedoes from ships and aircraft.
1.1US A signal placed on a railroad track, exploding as the train passes over it.
1.2US A firework exploding on impact with a hard surface.
More example sentences
  • He accentuates his taps with an occasional torpedo, little explosive pellets that detonate on contact, which were a lot of fun before life got so safe and sane.
1.3 informal A submarine sandwich.
1.4 informal A gangster hired to commit a murder or other violent act.
1.5An explosive device lowered into oil wells to clear obstructions.
2 (also torpedo ray) An electric ray.
More example sentences
  • Those closest to the lagoon entrance offer the best chance of finding a resting leopard shark or torpedo ray, especially early in the morning.
  • Another hot star here is a resident baby torpedo ray a mere 7 ‘long.’
  • Properties in common with electricity of the torpedo and other animals of this class are chiefly these: -

verb (torpedoes, torpedoing, torpedoed)

[with object] Back to top  
1Attack or sink (a ship) with a torpedo or torpedoes.
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, the ship was torpedoed while still in the Baltic Sea and sank.
  • As for battle, ‘I was in the water twice,’ he would sometimes say, meaning that two of the ships he'd been on had been torpedoed or bombed and sunk.
  • The ship was torpedoed at about 0530 hours on September 12.
1.1Destroy or ruin (a plan or project): fighting between the militias torpedoed peace talks
More example sentences
  • There are a myriad of reasons why Congress may torpedo this plan.
  • Fears over traffic congestion could torpedo plans to make a Selby transport depot the hub of a nationwide distribution network.
  • It also adds to the anger following last year's Government decision to torpedo plans for a massive marina, following a public inquiry.

Origin

early 16th century (sense 2 of the noun): from Latin, literally 'stiffness, numbness', by extension 'electric ray' (which gives a shock causing numbness), from torpere 'be numb or sluggish'. sense 1 of the noun dates from the late 18th century and first described a timed explosive device for detonation under water.

Derivatives

torpedolike

adjective
More example sentences
  • The longtime Boat U.S. member of Alexandria, VA, was one of the judges who reviewed entries, from a one-person sub called Faux Fish, complete with articulating tail, to a red, six-sided torpedo-like sub called Miss FIT.
  • Its fuselage, elliptical in cross-section and torpedo-like in silhouette, refined the molded-plywood technique devised and patented ten years before.
  • As custom called for, a week later Irol's body was sealed and loaded aboard a torpedo-like missile and therewith launched toward the Flaming Moon, where other Apathonian royals and war heroes throughout the ages had been laid to rest.

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