Man of war

man-of-war

[man-uhv-wawr]
noun, plural men-of-war.
1.
a warship.

Origin:
1400–50 in sense “soldier”; late Middle English

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World English Dictionary
man-of-war or man o' war
 
n , pl men-of-war, men o' war
1.  a warship
2.  See Portuguese man-of-war
 
man o' war or man o' war
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

man-of-war
late 14c., "a soldier," from man (n.) + war. Meaning "vessel equipped for warfare" is from late 15c. Man in the sense of "a ship" is attested from late 15c. in comb. forms (e.g. merchantman). The sea creature known as the Portuguese man-of-war (1707) is so called for its sail-like crest.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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