Dread"nought` (?), n.
A British battleship, completed in 1906-1907, having an armament consisting of ten 12-inch guns, and of twenty-four 12-pound quick-fire guns for protection against torpedo boats. This was the first battleship of the type characterized by a main armament of big guns all of the same caliber. She has a displacement of 17,900 tons at load draft, and a speed of 21 knots per hour.
Any battleship having its main armament entirely of big guns all of one caliber. Since the Dreadnought was built, the caliber of the heaviest guns has increased from 12 in. to 13½ in., 14 in., and 15 in., and the displacement of the largest batteships from 18,000 tons to 30,000 tons and upwards. The term superdreadnought
is popularly applied to battleships with such increased displacement and gun caliber.
© Webster 1913.