mother ship

mother ship

noun
a vessel or craft that services others operating far from a home port or center.

Origin:
1885–90

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Collins
World English Dictionary
mother ship
 
n
a ship providing facilities and supplies for a number of small vessels

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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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  mother ship
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a larger spacecraft or watercraft which carries, controls, or launches smaller craft
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

mother ship

originally, a large ship used in whaling, but now, more broadly, any ship that is equipped to process marine catches for various consumer uses. It most commonly serves as the main ship in a fleet sent to waters a great distance from home port to catch, prepare, and store fish or whales for market.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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