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general quarters

noun, (used with a singular verb) Military.
a condition of readiness for combat on a warship, during which crew members remain at their battle stations and have guns and ammunition ready for immediate loading. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Historical Examples
  • These drills were collision, fire-quarters, general-quarters, and clearing ship for action.

    Two Boys of the Battleship Frank V. Webster
  • When the general-quarters call was sounded, all took their stations at the guns for fighting the ship.

    Two Boys of the Battleship Frank V. Webster

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