from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A person whose occupation it is to break up vessels that are unfit for sea.

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

  • n. a contractor who buys old ships and breaks them up for scrap


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The effect of each aberration is telling: The fiery, foreground plume draws our eyes to the Temeraire's ghostly, imagined masts, and to its broken spar that hangs limply at front, no longer supporting a jackstaff or the Union flag that was removed when it was sold to a ship-breaker.

    The Tale of the Temeraire

  • He lived on Tower Hill, collected rents, advanced money to seamen, and kept a sort of wharf, containing rusty anchors, huge iron rings, piles of rotten wood, and sheets of old copper, calling himself a ship-breaker.

    Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook, Vol. 3

  • The powerful Korean documentary Iron Crows suggests an alternate phrase: "Well, it beats working as a Bangladeshi ship-breaker."

    NPR Topics: News

  • On Quilp's Wharf, Daniel Quilp was a ship-breaker, yet to judge from these appearances he must either have been a ship-breaker on a very small scale, or have broken his ships up very small indeed.

    Old Curiosity Shop

  • In Suez, where he was stopped on his way to Cyprus, he was employed as a ship-breaker to plunder a ship wrecked on the dangerous coast at Guardafui.

    Expecting Rain

  • South Asia's yards, which take advantage of cheap labor, scant regulations, and high regional demand for steel, will buy a vessel for twice the price a U.S. ship-breaker could offer.

    Slate Magazine


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