Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A ship with a powerful light or warning signals that is anchored in dangerous waters to alert other vessels.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A ship equipped with a very large lamp; it can be positioned to warn off other ships from dangerous locations, as a sort of portable lighthouse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A vessel equipped like a lighthouse, carrying at the masthead a brilliant light, and moored off a shoal or place of dangerous navigation where a permanent lighthouse would be impracticable, to serve as a guide for mariners.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A vessel riding at anchor and displaying a light for the guidance of mariners, in a position where the bottom or the depth would render a fixed lighthouse-structure impracticable.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a ship equipped like a lighthouse and anchored where a permanent lighthouse would be impracticable

Etymologies

light +‎ ship (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To reach the Elbe from the west you nave to go right outside this, round the lightship, which is off the Scharhorn, and double back.

    The Riddle of the Sands

  • Given the intrusion of the presidential race on the crustacean calendar early last week, we and other pectinophiles delayed gratifying our jones for Nantucket Island's only distinctive export (besides hand-woven "lightship" baskets) until Wednesday.

    New England's November Delicacy

  • Mandarins, clumsy in the weak mortar lightship, stumbled against the waistband as if it were just then being discovered, while other, livelier, sours, shouted and slapped the castanet during spontaneous bid-quoting contingencies and then became very quintet and watchful.

    Farouche

  • Dearing had just returned from a voyage to South America, and had last been spotted just south of Hatteras by a lightship ...

    2010 March | Scary For Kids

  • It was a small ship with a big name, previously having served as a lightship tender.

    Civil War Papercrafts | Papercraft Paradise | PaperCrafts | Paper Models | Card Models

  • As we passed the lightship at the western end of the Goodwins the fine weather left us, and in its place came the south-west wind with rain, fog, and foul weather in its train.

    The South Pole~ On the Way to the South

  • And far on Kish bank the anchored lightship twinkled, winked at Mr Bloom.

    Nick Mamatas' Journal

  • That lightship there leading the speculation that perhaps it may be used as part of the memorial.

    CNN Transcript Aug 26, 2009

  • A pink and blue June morning found me at Bradgate looking from the Griffin Hotel over a smooth sea to the lightship on the Cock sands which seemed the size of a bell-buoy.

    The Thirty-Nine Steps

  • American diplomacy — and not far from Treaty Point came upon a red lightship with the words “Treaty Point” in large letters upon her.

    Unbeaten Tracks in Japan

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