- 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 break through into the oil pocket
- ☆ Slang a gangster or gunman hired as a bodyguard, assassin, etc.
Origin of torpedoClassical Latin numbness, crampfish ; from torpere, to be stiff: see torpid
- 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 an approaching hazard.
- 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)
- pet door
From Latin torpēdō (“a torpedo fish”), from torpēdō (“numbness, torpidity, electric ray”), from torpeō (“I am stiff, numb, torpid; I am astounded; I am inactive”) and -dō (“noun suffix”), from Proto-Indo-European *ster (“stiff”), see also Old English steorfan (“to die”), Ancient Greek στερεός (stereos, “solid”), Lithuanian tirpstu (“to become rigid”), Old Church Slavonic трупети (trupeti)