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ship of state

a nation or its affairs likened to a ship under sail.
Origin of ship of state
1665-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Idioms and Phrases with ship of state

ship of state

The nation, as in We can't help but wonder who will be steering our ship of state a hundred years from now. This metaphoric expression was first recorded in English in a translation of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince (1675).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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