Meaning of TORPEDO in English


I. tȯ(r)ˈpē(ˌ)dō noun

Etymology: Latin torpedin-, torpedo stiffness, numbness, crampfish, from torpēre to be stiff, numb — more at torpid

1. -es

a. or torpedo fish : electric ray

b. : someone or something that paralyzes, benumbs, or stupefies

2. capitalized

[New Latin Torpedin-, Torpedo, from Latin, crampfish]

: the type genus of Torpedinidae

3. -es : an engine or machine for destroying ships by blowing them up: as

a. : a metal case containing explosives that is anchored in a channel under water or at the surface or set adrift and so arranged that it will be exploded on contact by a vessel or electrically by an operator on shore — called also submarine mine

b. : a case containing high explosives carried on a long spar projecting from a war vessel or launch and exploded by contact or electrically — called also spar torpedo

c. : a dirigible self-propelling cigar-shaped submarine projectile filled with an explosive charge, projected from a ship often designed for that purpose against another at a distance, and controlled by compressed air and devices for keeping it on course and at a given depth

4. -es

a. : a charge of explosive enclosed in a container or case and used for any of various military purposes — compare aerial torpedo

b. : an explosive cartridge or shell lowered or dropped into a bored oil well and there exploded to clear the well of obstructions or to open communication with a possible source of supply of oil

c. : a small firework that explodes when thrown against a hard object

d. : a detonating cartridge or shell placed on a rail to be exploded when crushed under the wheels of a railroad locomotive as a warning signal to the engineer

5. -es : a professional gunman or assassin ; especially : one employed by gangsters or racketeers

II. “, often -_dəw in pres part transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )


a. : to hit or sink (a ship) with a naval torpedo : strike (a military target) with a torpedo of any of various kinds

b. : to destroy or nullify altogether : explode , ruin , shatter , wreck

this torpedoes the principal argument the union has relied on — A.H.Raskin

the periodical which torpedoed the great monthlies of the genteel age — H.S.Canby

2. : to ignite or explode a charge in (an oil well or shaft) in order to clear away obstructions or increase output

III. noun

: grinder 6

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.