a warship of the old sailing class, having a flush deck and usually one tier of guns.
a lightly armed, fast ship used mostly for convoy escort and ranging in size between a destroyer and a gunboat.
Also, corvet [kawr-vet, kawr-vet] .

1630–40; < French, Middle French < Middle Dutch corver pursuit boat (derivative of corf fishing boat, literally, basket), with suffix altered to -ette -ette Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
corvette (kɔːˈvɛt)
a lightly armed escort warship
[C17: from Old French, perhaps from Middle Dutch corf basket, small ship, from Latin corbis basket]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1636, from Fr., "small, fast frigate," probably from M.Du. korver "pursuit ship," from M.L.G. korf meaning both a kind of boat and a basket, from L. corbita (navis) "slow-sailing ship of burden," from corbis "basket." A basket was hoisted as a signal by Egyptian grain-ships. The U.S. sports car was so
named Sept. 1952, after the warship, on a suggestion by Myron Scott, employee of Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet's advertising agency.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for corvette
The rank corvette captain derives from the name of this type of ship.
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