1. A warship that is smaller than a destroyer and used primarily for escort duty.
2. A high-speed, medium-sized sailing war vessel of the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s.
3. Obsolete A fast, light vessel, such as a sailboat.
[French frégate, from Italian fregata.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.