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[ney-vuh l] /ˈneɪ vəl/
of or relating to warships:
a naval battle; naval strength.
of or relating to ships of all kinds:
naval architecture; naval engineer.
belonging to, pertaining to, or connected with a navy:
naval affairs.
possessing a navy:
the great naval powers.
Origin of naval
1585-95; < Latin nāvālis, equivalent to nāv(is) ship + -ālis -al1
Related forms
navally, adverb
nonnaval, adjective
prenaval, adjective
pronaval, adjective
Can be confused
knave, naval, nave (see synonym study at knave)
naval, navel.
naval, nautical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for naval
  • naval intervention disrupts around a fifth of the attacks.
  • The motor was identified as a naval flare rocket motor.
  • Its naval shipyards have suffered cost over-runs and delays.
  • In several cases, groups of whales and dolphins have run ashore and died in the vicinity of naval maneuvers involving sonar.
  • The beaked whale appears to be particularly sensitive to the powerful sonar used by the world's naval fleets.
  • Even after a further degree in naval architecture she was allowed only to design huge oil platforms-not to visit them.
  • For centuries, the vagaries of wind and current had played a major role in all naval battles.
  • Instead, as a practised sailor, he had studied the local naval charts.
  • Also, my understanding is the steel drums were shaped from empty oil drums left by naval submarines after refueling.
  • The data collected is crucial to naval engineers trying to predict the vessel's likely shifts of position.
British Dictionary definitions for naval


of, relating to, characteristic of, or having a navy
of or relating to ships; nautical
Word Origin
C16: from Latin nāvālis, from nāvis ship; related to Greek naus, Old Norse nōr ship, Sanskrit nau
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 naval

early 15c., from Old French naval (14c.) and directly from Latin navalis "pertaining to a ship or ships," from navis "ship," from PIE *nau- "boat" (cf. Sanskrit nauh, accusative navam "ship, boat;" Armenian nav "ship;" Greek naus "ship," nautes "sailor;" Old Irish nau "ship;" Welsh noe "a flat vessel;" Old Norse nor "ship"). An Old English word for "naval" was scipherelic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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