- electric ray
- a large, cigar-shaped, self-propelled underwater projectile for launching against enemy ships from a submarine, airplane, etc.: it is detonated by contact, sound, etc.
- a metal case containing explosives, esp. one used as an underwater mine
- a small fireworks device consisting of a percussion cap and gravel wrapped in tissue paper, which explodes with a loud noise when thrown against a hard surface
- an explosive cartridge or a flare, placed on a railroad track and detonated by a train wheel as a signal to the crew
- an explosive cartridge lowered into oil wells, where it is detonated to clear the bore or to break through to the oil pocket
- a gangster or gunman hired as a bodyguard, assassin, etc.
Origin of torpedoL, numbness, crampfish from torpere, to be stiff: see torpid
transitive verb-·doed, -·do·ing
- A cigar-shaped, self-propelled underwater projectile launched from a submarine, aircraft, or ship and designed to detonate on contact with or in the vicinity of a target.
- Any of various submarine explosive devices, especially a submarine mine.
- A small explosive placed on a railroad track that is fired by the weight of the train to sound a warning of a hazard ahead.
- An explosive fired in an oil or gas well to begin or increase the flow.
- A small firework consisting of gravel wrapped in tissue paper with a percussion cap that explodes when thrown against a hard surface.
- See electric ray.
- Slang A professional assassin or thug.
- Chiefly New Jersey See submarine sandwich.
transitive verbtor·pe·doed, tor·pe·do·ing, tor·pe·does
- To attack, strike, or sink with a torpedo.
- To destroy decisively; wreck: torpedo efforts at reform.
Origin of torpedoLatin torpēdō numbness, electric ray from torpēre to be stiff ; see ster-1 in Indo-European roots.
(plural torpedoes or torpedos)
- (military) A cylindrical explosive projectile that can travel underwater and is used as a weapon.
- A fish having wings that generate electric current, a kind of electric ray.
- (regional) A submarine sandwich.
- (archaic, military) A naval mine.
- (slang) A professional gunman or assassin.
- (rail transport, US) a small explosive device attached to the top of the rail to provide an audible warning when a train passes over it
- A kind of firework in the form of a small ball, or pellet, which explodes when thrown upon a hard object.
(third-person singular simple present torpedoes, present participle torpedoing, simple past and past participle torpedoed)
From Latin torpÄ“dÅ (“a torpedo fish"), from torpÄ“dÅ (“numbness, torpidity, electric ray"), from torpeÅ (“I am stiff, numb, torpid; I am astounded; I am inactive") and -dÅ (“noun suffix"), from Proto-Indo-European *ster (“stiff"), see also Old English steorfan (“to die"), Ancient Greek ÏƒÏ„ÎµÏÎµÏŒÏ‚ (stereos, “solid"), Lithuanian tirpstu (“to become rigid"), Old Church Slavonic Ñ‚Ñ€ÑƒÐ¿ÐµÑ‚Ð¸ (trupeti)