Variant of torpedo
noun pl. torpedoes
- 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: Classical Latin numbness, crampfish ; from torpere, to be stiff: see torpid