from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To unload from a ship; discharge.
  • transitive v. To remove (a piece of gear) from its proper place; detach: unship an oar.
  • intransitive v. To become or be capable of becoming removed or detached.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To unload cargo from a ship or other vessel
  • v. To remove an oar or mast from its normal position

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To take out of a ship or vessel.
  • transitive v. To remove or detach, as any part or implement, from its proper position or connection when in use.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take out of a ship or other water-craft: as, to unship goods or passengers. To remove from its place; specifically (nautical), to remove from a place where it is fixed or fitted: as, to unship an oar; to unship capstan-bars; to unship the tiller.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Wait'll something really happens like they unship a chain onto the beefy bottom bracket and scar the clear coat.

    It's a Zen Thing: What's the Sound of No Brakes Stopping?

  • Earlier in the thread, I allowed that I thought copyright law wasn't perfect, and when you have organizations like Disney who have herds of lawyers they can unship to defend their property, you might make a compelling argument to fix some of the loopholes.

    Steal This Movie!

  • I came up with some funny routines for getting rid of them, and when I was feeling feisty, I'd unship one and fire it.

    And My Number is BEechwood 4-5-7-8-9

  • The steamer generally remains for two or three hours at Halifax to coal, and unship a portion of her cargo, and there is a very natural desire on the part of the passengers to leave what to many is at best a floating prison, and set foot on firm ground, even for an hour.

    The Englishwoman in America

  • There was nothing for it but to unship the mast, get out the oars and pull.

    Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin

  • It took only minutes for the SEALs to get themselves and their gear on board, to unship the waterproofed electric engine and secure it to the motor mount.


  • Folks would come downriver and unship their wagons and horses here, and then move west overland.

    Prentice Alvin

  • Now Smash had to unship the two great oars he had made, face back, and row against the current.

    Centaur Aisle

  • The ruffians who had crewed her were in a state of complete panic, some trying to unship small boats which crumbled even as they swung them out, others lying flat against the rotted decks and praying to whatever gods they still worshiped.

    The Sailor On The Seas of Fate

  • One could start from the West Coast, unship any place and pick up a bunch of natives.

    The Sleuth of St. James's Square


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  • The ship's head pitched into the sea, and the water rushed through the hawse-holes, and the chain surged so as almost to unship the barrel of the windlass.

    - Richard Henry Dana Jr., Two Years Before the Mast, ch. 24

    September 9, 2008