from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A battleship armed with six or more guns having calibers of 12 inches or more.
  • noun A type of acoustic guitar with a larger body and louder sound than typical of most guitars.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A British battleship, completed in 1906 -- 1907, having an armament consisting of ten 12-inch guns mounted in turrets, and of twenty-four 12-pound quick-fire guns for protection against torpedo boats. This was the first battleship of the type characterized by a main armament of big guns all of the same caliber. She had a displacement of 17,900 tons at load draft, and a speed of 21 knots per hour.
  • noun Any battleship having its main armament entirely of big guns all of one caliber. Since the Dreadnought was built, the caliber of the heaviest guns has increased from 12 in. to 131/2 in., 14 in., and 15 in., and the displacement of the largest batteships from 18,000 tons to 30,000 tons and upwards. The term superdreadnought is popularly applied to battleships with such increased displacement and gun caliber.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a battleship, especially of the World War I era, in which most of the firepower is concentrated in large guns that are of the same caliber.
  • noun informal a type of warship heavier in armour or armament than a typical battleship
  • noun One that is the largest or the most powerful of its kind.
  • noun A garment made of thick woollen cloth that can defend against storm and cold.
  • noun The cloth itself; fearnaught.

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

  • noun battleship that has big guns all of the same caliber


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Named after HMS Dreadnought, the first battleship finished of this type, from dread + nought



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  • New '59 Cadillac Dreadnought! ... features 12-foot bar, spacious den... --Our Dumb Century, the Onion

    (I'm paraphrasing from memory)

    December 8, 2007

  • This word makes me want to go "RAAAAAA!"

    February 14, 2008

  • Do tell, yarb!

    February 14, 2008

  • I don't know why, rt. There's no story. I just think it's a dreadful, awesome word, evocative of carnage and havoc.

    February 14, 2008

  • Very true. And yet I can't help but think of it with amusement now that it's become one of my "Bigger SUV" names. :-)

    February 14, 2008

  • This word has a very different connotation to a guitar player. It's the standard shape of most modern acoustic guitars, having been designed by the Martin company in 1931.

    February 14, 2008

  • Interesting, skipvia! Was it named after the British battleship, do you know?

    February 14, 2008

  • I don't really know, c_b. I can't find any evidence one way or the other. The dreadnought shape was larger than the then-predominant parlor guitar shape and it was much louder and clearer than previous shapes, so perhaps there is a connection there.

    February 14, 2008

  • That was me, skipvia. :-) But thanks. I poked around a bit and found a good definition here. It's also a nice guitar-related glossary. :-)

    February 14, 2008

  • Sorry, reesette. This senility thing is rough. Thanks for the information--it makes sense that there was a connection. Nice glossary, too.

    February 15, 2008