Galleons were large, multi-decked
Such ships were the mainstay of maritime commerce into the early 19th century, and were often drafted into use as auxiliary naval war vessels—indeed, were the mainstay of contending fleets through most of the 150 years of the
The term Galleon "large ship", comes from Old French Galion "little ship" (13c.), from Spanish (Castilian) Galeón "armed merchant ship", from Portuguese Galeão "war ship", from Byzantine Greek Galea "
Later, when the term started to be applied to sail-only vessels, it meant, like the English term "man of war", any large warship that was otherwise no different from the other sailing ships of the time.[