Definition of frigate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfrɪɡət/


1A warship with a mixed armament, generally lighter than a destroyer (in the US navy, heavier) and of a kind originally introduced for convoy escort work.
Example sentences
  • Predominantly it was the destroyers and frigates of the Navy that served.
  • The Seahawk is operational on US Navy frigates, destroyers and guided missile cruisers.
  • At sea, he served in a battleship, an aircraft carrier, in cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and a minesweeper.
1.1 historical A sailing warship of a size and armament just below that of a ship of the line.
Example sentences
  • By 1780 there were 86 frigates and 79 ships of the line in French service, and the annual cost of the navy almost quadrupled between 1776 and 1783.
  • In the days of the old sailing frigates, this was the announcement of an impending attack!
  • ‘Sir, we board small frigates and pirate ships, not super-sized battleships.’


Late 16th century (denoting a light, fast boat which was rowed or sailed): from French frégate, from Italian fregata, of unknown origin.

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