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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Corvet \Cor"vet\ (k?r"v?t), Corvette \Cor*vette"\ (k?r-v?r"), n. [F. corvette, fr. Pg. corveta or Sp. corbeta, fr. L. corbita a slow-sailing ship of burden, fr, corbis basket. Cf. Corbeil.] (Naut.) A war vessel, ranking next below a frigate, and having usually only one tier of guns; -- called in the United States navy a sloop of war. [1913 Webster] ||

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1630s, also corvet, from French corvette "small, fast frigate" (15c.), perhaps from Middle Dutch korver "pursuit ship," or Middle Low German korf meaning both a kind of boat and a basket, or from Latin corbita (navis) "slow-sailing ship of burden, grain ship" from corbis "basket" (Gamillscheg is against this). The U.S. sports car was so named September 1952, after the warship, on a suggestion by Myron Scott, employee of Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet's advertising agency. Italian corvetta, Spanish corbeta are French loan-words.


n. 1 (context nautical historical English) A flush-decked warship of the 17th-18th centuries having a single tier of guns; it ranked next below a frigate; -- called in the United States navy a sloop of war. 2 (context nautical English) In a modern navy, a lightly armed and armoured blue water warship, smaller than a frigate, capable of transoceanic duty.


n. a highly maneuverable escort warship; smaller than a destroyer


A corvette is a small warship. It is traditionally the smallest class of vessel considered to be a proper (or "rated") warship. The warship class above the corvette is that of the frigate, while the class below was historically that of the sloop-of-war. The modern types of ship below a corvette are coastal patrol craft and fast attack craft. In modern terms, a corvette is typically between 500 tons and 2,000 tons although recent designs may approach 3,000 tons, which might instead be considered a small frigate.

The word "corvette" is first found in Middle French, a diminutive of the Dutch word corf, meaning a small ship, from the Latin corbis, meaning "basket".

The rank " corvette captain", equivalent in many navies to " lieutenant commander", derives from the name of this type of ship. The rank is the most junior of three "captain" ranks in several European (e.g., France, Spain, Italy) and South American navies (e.g., Argentina, Chile), because a corvette, as the smallest class of rated warship, was traditionally the smallest class of vessel entitled to a commander of a "captain" rank.

Corvette (video game)

Corvette is a 2003 racing video game in which players race in cars from the 1950s and unlock cars in career mode to race cars from 1953 to 2003. Players can customize cars to fit their driving style. The game features traffic and policemen. The tracks come from Chicago and go to L.A. The game was released on Xbox, Game Boy Advance, PC, and PlayStation 2.

Corvette (disambiguation)

A corvette is a war ship smaller than a frigate.

Corvette may also refer to:

  • Chevrolet Corvette, a sports car
  • Aérospatiale Corvette, a business jet
  • Corvette (pinball), a 1994 arcade machine
  • Corvette (video game), a racing video game
  • A bicycle model produced by the Schwinn Bicycle Company

Usage examples of "corvette".

Saks as they tried vainly to get a wicker bassinette into the Corvette.

A Corvette driver I knew was having trouble with his brakes one weekend.

Doxin sat by an interlaboratory communication station and cheered as he saw one of the Rebel corvettes crumble, disintegrating into a cloud of pulverized metal plate and escaping fuel and coolant gases.

When James Playfair had reached the cross-trees, he saw distinctly, through an opening in the mist, a large Federal corvette in full pursuit of the Dolphin.

Anakin raised the electrobinoculars in time to see a trio of enemy corvettes burst into white sprays of yorik coral.

Half a dozen corvette analogs left their blockade posts to defend the larger ship, and long tongues of plasma began to arc out from the cruiser itself.

There were eight light cruisers and twice that number of frigate and corvette analogs on his tail, and they were all traveling far too fast to intend decelerating anywhere near Eclipse.

Han saw - much to his initial bafflement - that the ship was in fact an old Corellian corvette, though heavily modified and anodized a non-reflective black.

The shielding crews continued to catch her attacks, but the corvette fell behind as its dovin basals diverted to protecting the ship.

Arkania, ambushing Yuuzhan Vong corvettes as they felt their way out of the war zone.

More enemy corvettes accelerated toward the Dozen, abandoning their blockade stations.

When a pair of corvettes rushed to block their way, Luke dropped a shadow bomb - they were flying too fast to lock their S-foils into firing position - and used the Force to hurl it into the second vessel.

A trio of black-faceted corvettes drifted in from different angles, filling space with magma missiles and grutchins.

She tapped the data display, indicating a position a quarter of the way around the circle from where the corvettes and frigates were headed - and on the Reecee side of the Bantha.

Still, scores of Yuuzhan Vong frigates and corvettes vanished into stars of dispersing energy before they could organize themselves into a picket wall.