a ship, airplane, or truck designed for bulk shipment of liquids or gases.
verb (used with object)
to transport by tanker.

1895–1900; tank + -er1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tanker (ˈtæŋkə)
a ship, lorry, or aeroplane designed to carry liquid in bulk, such as oil

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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Word Origin & History

"ship for carrying oil or other liquid cargo," 1900, from tank (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


ship designed to carry liquid cargo in bulk. Its cargo is usually a petroleum product, either crude oil being carried from oil fields to refineries or gasoline being carried from refineries to distribution centres. The liquid is piped into the cargo space of the ship and transported without the use of barrels or other containers. Special tankers carry other liquids such as molasses, asphalt, wine, or liquefied natural gas. Tankers differ from general cargo ships in that they normally carry a full load in one direction and return without cargo

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Due to the rapid increase in ship-borne trade, globalization favors large
  navies that protect trade and tanker routes.
Anyone wanting to make the journey would have to do so in a fuel tanker truck.
We buy this stuff at work in bulk, by the tanker load literally.
One of our tasks was to evaluate the role of the tanker aircraft likely to be
  available and of overseas bases worldwide.
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