Part of speech: noun

Formerly, a small vessel having one gun; now, a man of war next in size below a cruiser.

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Usage examples "gunboat":

  1. I tell you there is a French gunboat at Harwich, and another in the North Sea. - "The Last Hope", Henry Seton Merriman.
  2. No. 3. Running fight with the enemy's fleet, which ends in the capture of one, destruction of another, and the ram and one gunboat take shelter again under Fort Morgan. - "Admiral Farragut", A. T. Mahan.
  3. He was commanding the Neptun, a little gunboat employed on dreary patrol duty up and down the Archipelago, to look after the traders. - "'Twixt Land & Sea", Joseph Conrad.