fleet 1 (flēt)
1. A number of warships operating together under one command.
2. A number of vessels having a shared origin, purpose, or area of operation: the Japanese merchant fleet; the North Pacific fishing fleet.
3. A group of vehicles, such as taxicabs or airliners, owned or operated as a unit.
[Middle English flete, from Old English flēot, from flēotan, to float; see pleu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.