corvette definition by Webster's New World
- a former sailing warship larger than a sloop and smaller than a frigate, usually with one tier of guns
- a fast warship smaller than a destroyer and used chiefly for convoy duty
Origin: French probably ; from Middle Dutch korver, pursuit ship ; from MLG korf, kind of boat, basket ; from Classical Latin corbis, basket: see corbeil
corvette definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A fast, lightly armed warship, smaller than a destroyer, often armed for antisubmarine operations.
- An obsolete sailing warship, smaller than a frigate, usually armed with one tier of guns.
Origin: French, a kind of warship, probably from Middle Dutch corf, basket, small ship; see corf.