Definition of argosy in English:



  • A large merchant ship, originally one from Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) or Venice.

    • ‘We gather this in the opening moments of the play when we hear that his ‘argosies’ (merchant ships), behaving ‘like signors and rich burghers’, are out on the sea.’
    • ‘Mehta's camera has meticulously scoured and documented the remnants of those many argosies that have arrived unheralded on Indian shores to carry away the loot of its once unparalleled tropical wealth.’
    • ‘Portia further gives Antonio news that three of his argosies have arrived safely, and gives Lorenzo the deed by which Shylock has made him his heir.’
    • ‘Antonio's friends suggest that he's worried about his argosies, which he denies.’


Late 16th century apparently from Italian Ragusea (nave) ‘(vessel) of Ragusa’.