from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A ship that brings relief or aid, as to an expedition for arctic exploration; specifically, a government cutter or a large ship which periodically makes the rounds of lighthouses, light-ships, and other government stations with provisions, etc.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Supper taught us the urgent need to send news over the one hundred and fifty miles to the British at Suez for a relief-ship.
In 1848, Sir James Ross was sent out with the first relief-ship; but was not able to reach the entrance of Wellington channel because of compact ice from there to Leopold Island.
They, the visitors, were the officers of the relief-ship on the lookout for castaways and survivors.