1. A fast, lightly armed warship, smaller than a destroyer, often armed for antisubmarine operations.
2. An obsolete sailing warship, smaller than a frigate, usually armed with one tier of guns.
[French, a kind of warship, probably from Middle Dutch corf, basket, small ship; see CORF.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 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.