Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An armed ship with its upper deck cut away, and thus reduced to the next inferior rate, such as a seventy-four cut down to a frigate.
  • v. To cut (a ship) down to a smaller number of decks, and thus to an inferior rate or class.
  • v. To trim or abridge by cutting off parts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An armed ship having her upper deck cut away, and thus reduced to the next inferior rate, as a seventy-four cut down to a frigate.
  • transitive v. To cut down to a less number of decks, and thus to an inferior rate or class, as a ship; hence, to prune or abridge by cutting off or retrenching parts.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cut down or reduce to a lower class, as a ship; hence, to lessen or abridge by cutting out parts: as, to razee a book or an article.
  • n. A ship of war cut down to a smaller size by reducing the number of decks.

Etymologies

French vaisseau rasé, from raser to rase, to cut down ships. See raze and rase (verbs). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • 'The architect of the chimney must have had the pyramid of Cheops before him; for, after that famous structure, it seems modeled, only its rate of decrease towards the summit is considerably less, and it is truncated. From the exact middle of the mansion it soars from the cellar, right up through each successive floor, till, four feet square, it breaks water from the ridgepole of the roof, like an anvil-headed whale, through the crest of a billow. Most people, though, liken it, in that part, to a razeed observatory, masoned up.'

    - Melville, I and My Chimney

    April 3, 2010

  • "... in the royal navy, an appellation given to a two-decked ship, when the round-house, quarter-deck, and forecastle, are cut down forward and aft to the upper-deck sails, and in midships flush with the deck.... Two-decked ships thus cut down have great advantages over the enemies (sic) frigates, as they carry their guns much higher out of water, and bear a greater weight of metal. They also have a greater height between decks, which is more convenient both to officers and men. They generally carry 28 long 24-pounders on what now becomes the maindeck, and carronades, &c. on the quarter-deck and fore-castle; and have a complement of 470 men."
    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 386–387

    October 11, 2008