Etymology
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gunboat (n.)

also gun-boat, "small boat fitted with guns for service inshore or up rivers," 1793, from gun (n.) + boat (n.). Gunboat diplomacy is from 1916, originally with reference to Western policies in China.

updated on April 30, 2015

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Definitions of gunboat from WordNet

gunboat (n.)
a small shallow-draft boat carrying mounted guns; used by costal patrols;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.