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[tang-ker] /ˈtæŋ kər/
a ship, airplane, or truck designed for bulk shipment of liquids or gases.
verb (used with object)
to transport by tanker.
Origin of tanker
1895-1900; tank + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for tanker


a ship, lorry, or aeroplane designed to carry liquid in bulk, such as oil
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 tanker

"ship for carrying oil or other liquid cargo," 1900, from tank (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tanker



(also fish tank, fish bowl, holding tank) A detention cell; a jail cell: when he goes into the tank as a prisoner/ I'm in the fish tank. There are forty of us in the diagnostic center (entry form 1912+)


  1. (also tank up) To drink liquor, esp heavily: I think he'd tanked up a good deal at luncheon (1902+)
  2. To lose a game, match, etc, deliberately; throw: He lost so implausibly they were sure he had tanked/ the ''tanking'' of unlucrative doubles matches merely to catch a plane (1976+ Sports)
  3. To fall precipitately; collapse: At FBI headquarters, morale has tanked after the Idaho investigation/ Analysts say Texaco shares could tank to $25–$30 in bankruptcy (1980s+)

Related Terms

drunk tank, go into the tank, think tank

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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