1. A large heavy boat, usually having two masts and carrying lugsails.
2. A small open boat fitted with oars or sails, or both, and used primarily in shallow waters.
[Early Modern English, from French chaloppe, chaloupe, a kind of flat boat, shallop, from Middle French chaloppe, nutshell (from the shape of the boat's hull), from Old French eschalope : eschale, variant of escale, husk, shell; see skel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + -oppe as in enveloppe, covering (from enveloper, to envelop; see ENVELOP).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.