Definition of torpedo noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//tɔːˈpiːdəʊ//
; NAmE NAmE//tɔːrˈpiːdoʊ//
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(pl. torpedoes) a long narrow bomb that is fired under the water from a ship or submarine and that explodes when it hits a ship, etc. Wordfinderadmiral, aircraft carrier, base, captain, command, fleet, navy, submarine, torpedo, warship See related entries: Weapons Word Originearly 16th cent. (originally referring to an electric ray): from Latin, literally ‘stiffness, numbness’, by extension ‘electric ray’ (which gives a shock causing numbness), from torpere ‘be numb or sluggish’. The noun sense dates from the late 18th cent. and first described a timed explosive device for detonation under water.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: torpedo

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