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[lawng-ship, long-] /ˈlɔŋˌʃɪp, ˈlɒŋ-/
a medieval ship used in northern Europe especially by the Norse, having a long, narrow, open hull, a single square sail, and a large number of oars, which provided most of the propulsion.
Origin of longship
1560-70; long1 + ship1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for longship
Historical Examples
  • The boat wallowed, but rode the waves better than the longship.

    The Valor of Cappen Varra Poul William Anderson
  • He is said to have left the city and to have taken up his abode on his longship.

    Canute the Great Laurence Marcellus Larson
  • The galley, or longship, had carried guns on a platform at the bows, pointing forward.

    On the Spanish Main John Masefield
  • There seemed every chance that we should be upon the longship before they knew what we were about, for we had the weather gauge.

    Havelok The Dane Charles Whistler
  • Now we saw a boat lowered from the longship's side, and one by one armed men entered her, and she sank deeply in the water.

    Wulfric the Weapon Thane Charles W. Whistler
  • The longship's lighthouse stood up, a grey shadow in a grey scene.

    Tomaso's Fortune and Other Stories Henry Seton Merriman
  • Now the longship held on her course steadily, never shifting her helm for so much as a point.

    Havelok The Dane Charles Whistler
British Dictionary definitions for longship


a narrow open vessel with oars and a square sail, used esp by the Vikings during medieval times
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for longship

Old English langscip "man of war;" see long (adj.) + ship (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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