from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Nautical A commercial vessel that has no regular schedule but takes on and discharges cargo whenever hired to do so.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a commercial steamship that has no regular schedule or published ports of call
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a commercial steamer for hire; one having no regular schedule
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In 1994, a tramp steamer named Golden Venture: See Nina Bernstein, “Making It Ashore, but Still Chasing U.S. Dream,” New York Times, April 9, 2008.
There was nothing marked on the paper but I could trace the route a little tramp steamer would take, through the Bosphorus, through the Aegean Sea, through the Mediterranean, out past Gibraltar, and then full steam across the Atlantic to Portland, Maine.
She was the Danish tramp steamer N.J. Fjord, blowing off steam from her boilers and rising and falling in the gentle roll of the sea.
In 1994, a tramp steamer named Golden Venture ran aground in the middle of the night in Queens, bearing nearly three hundred illegal immigrants smuggled mostly from Fujian.