Container ship Reecon Whale on Black Sea near Constanța Romania.jpg
General characteristics
Tonnage:to 120,000 DWT (New Panamax)
Length:to 289.56 m (950 ft) (New Panamax)
Beam:to 134 ft (41 m) (Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier on waterline)
Draft:to 15.2 m (50 ft) (New Panamax)
Propulsion:steam turbine (fossil fuel, nuclear), diesel, gas turbine, sterling, steam (reciprocating)
Sail plan:for sailing ships—two or more masts, variety of sail plans

A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep waterways, carrying passengers or goods, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research and fishing. Historically, a "ship" was a sailing vessel with at least three square-rigged masts and a full bowsprit. Ships are generally distinguished from boats, based on size, shape, load capacity, and tradition.

Ships have been important contributors to human migration and commerce. They have supported the spread of colonization and the slave trade, but have also served scientific, cultural, and humanitarian needs. After the 15th century, new crops that had come from and to the Americas via the European seafarers significantly contributed to the world population growth.[1] Ship transport is responsible for the largest portion of world commerce.

As of 2016, there were more than 49,000 merchant ships, totaling almost 1.8 billion dead weight tons. Of these 28% were oil tankers, 43% were bulk carriers, and 13% were container ships.[2]


Main parts of ship. 1Funnel; 2Stern; 3Propeller and Rudder; 4Portside (the right side is known as starboard); 5Anchor; 6Bulbous bow; 7Bow; 8Deck; 9Superstructure

Ships are generally larger than boats, but there is no universally accepted distinction between the two. Ships generally can remain at sea for longer periods of time than boats.[3] A legal definition of ship from Indian case law is a vessel that carries goods by sea.[4] A common notion is that a ship can carry a boat, but not vice versa.[5] A US Navy rule of thumb is that ships heel towards the outside of a sharp turn, whereas boats heel towards the inside[6] because of the relative location of the center of mass versus the center of buoyancy.[7][8] American and British 19th Century maritime law distinguished "vessels" from other craft; ships and boats fall in one legal category, whereas open boats and rafts are not considered vessels.[9]

In the Age of Sail, a full-rigged ship was a sailing vessel with at least three square-rigged masts and a full bowsprit; other types of vessel were also defined by their sailplan, e.g. barque, brigantine, etc.[10]

A number of large vessels are usually referred to as boats. Submarines are a prime example.[11] Other types of large vessel which are traditionally called boats are Great Lakes freighters, riverboats, and ferryboats.[9] Though large enough to carry their own boats and heavy cargoes, these vessels are designed for operation on inland or protected coastal waters.

In most maritime traditions ships have individual names, and modern ships may belong to a ship class often named after its first ship.


In the northern parts of Europe and America a ship is traditionally referred to with a female grammatical gender, represented in English with the pronoun "she", even if named after a man. This is not universal usage and some English language journalistic style guides advise using "it" as referring to ships with female pronouns can be seen as offensive and outdated.[12][13] In many documents the ship name is introduced with a ship prefix being an abbreviation of the ship class, for example "MS" (motor ship) or "SV" (sailing vessel), making it easier to distinguish a ship name from other individual names in a text.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Skip
Alemannisch: Schiff
العربية: سفينة
aragonés: Barco
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܣܦܝܢܬܐ
asturianu: Buque
Avañe'ẽ: Ygarata
azərbaycanca: Gəmi
تۆرکجه: گمی
বাংলা: জাহাজ
Bân-lâm-gú: Chûn
башҡортса: Судно
беларуская: Судна
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Карабель
български: Кораб
bosanski: Brod
català: Vaixell
čeština: Loď
chiShona: Ngarava
Cymraeg: Llong
dansk: Skib
Deutsch: Schiff
Diné bizaad: Tsin naaʼeeł
eesti: Laev
Ελληνικά: Πλοίο
español: Buque
Esperanto: Ŝipo
euskara: Itsasontzi
français: Navire
Frysk: Skip
furlan: Nâf
Gaeilge: Long
Gàidhlig: Long
galego: Nave
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Sòn
한국어: 선박
हिन्दी: जलयान
hrvatski: Brod
Ido: Navo
Bahasa Indonesia: Kapal
interlingua: Nave
Interlingue: Nave
íslenska: Skip
italiano: Nave
עברית: אונייה
Basa Jawa: Baita
Kabɩyɛ: Mɛlɛ
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಹಡಗು
ქართული: გემი
қазақша: Су көлігі
Kiswahili: Meli
kurdî: Keştî
Кыргызча: Кеме
Latina: Navis
latviešu: Kuģis
Lëtzebuergesch: Schëff
lietuvių: Laivas
Limburgs: Sjeep (verveur)
lingála: Masúwa
Livvinkarjala: Laivu
magyar: Hajó
македонски: Брод (пловило)
മലയാളം: കപ്പൽ
मराठी: जहाज
مصرى: سفينه
Bahasa Melayu: Kapal
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Sùng
монгол: Усан онгоц
မြန်မာဘာသာ: သင်္ဘော
Nāhuatl: Ācalli
नेपाली: पानी जहाज
नेपाल भाषा: लःखः
日本語: 大型船舶
Nordfriisk: Skap
Norfuk / Pitkern: Shep
norsk: Skip
norsk nynorsk: Skip
occitan: Naviri
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Kema
پنجابی: سمندری جہاز
Plattdüütsch: Schipp
polski: Statek wodny
português: Navio
română: Navă
Romani: Bero
Runa Simi: Hatun wamp'u
русский: Судно
ᱥᱟᱱᱛᱟᱲᱤ: ᱡᱟᱦᱟᱡᱽ
Scots: Ship
shqip: Anija
sicilianu: Navi
Simple English: Ship
slovenčina: Loď
slovenščina: Ladja
Soomaaliga: Markab
کوردی: کەشتی
српски / srpski: Брод
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Brod
suomi: Laiva
svenska: Fartyg
Tagalog: Barko
தமிழ்: கப்பல்
татарча/tatarça: Кораб
తెలుగు: ఓడ
Türkçe: Gemi
українська: Судно
اردو: بحرینہ
Vahcuengh: Ruz
vèneto: Nave
Tiếng Việt: Tàu thủy
Võro: Laiv
文言: 船舶
Winaray: Barko
吴语: 轮船
ייִדיש: שיף
žemaitėška: Laivs
中文: 輪船