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  1  definition  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Frigate  \Frig"ate\,  n.  [F.  fr['e]gate,  It  fregata,  prob. 
  contracted  fr  L.  fabricata  something  constructed  or  built. 
  See  {Fabricate}.] 
  1.  Originally,  a  vessel  of  the  Mediterranean  propelled  by 
  sails  and  by  oars.  The  French,  about  1650,  transferred  the 
  name  to  larger  vessels,  and  by  1750  it  had  been 
  appropriated  for  a  class  of  war  vessels  intermediate 
  between  corvettes  and  ships  of  the  line  Frigates,  from 
  about  1750  to  1850,  had  one  full  battery  deck  and  often 
  a  spar  deck  with  a  lighter  battery.  They  carried  sometimes 
  as  many  as  fifty  guns.  After  the  application  of  steam  to 
  navigation  steam  frigates  of  largely  increased  size  and 
  power  were  built,  and  formed  the  main  part  of  the  navies 
  of  the  world  till  about  1870,  when  the  introduction  of 
  ironclads  superseded  them  [Formerly  spelled  {frigat}  and 
  2.  Any  small  vessel  on  the  water.  [Obs.]  --Spenser. 
  {Frigate  bird}  (Zo["o]l.),  a  web-footed  rapacious  bird,  of 
  the  genus  {Fregata};  --  called  also  {man-of-war  bird},  and 
  {frigate  pelican}.  Two  species  are  known  that  of  the 
  Southern  United  States  and  West  Indies  is  {F.  aquila}. 
  They  are  remarkable  for  their  long  wings  and  powerful 
  flight.  Their  food  consists  of  fish  which  they  obtain  by 
  robbing  gulls,  terns,  and  other  birds,  of  their  prey.  They 
  are  related  to  the  pelicans. 
  {Frigate  mackerel}  (Zo["o]l.),  an  oceanic  fish  ({Auxis 
  Rochei})  of  little  or  no  value  as  food,  often  very 
  abundant  off  the  coast  of  the  United  States. 
  {Frigate  pelican}.  (Zo["o]l.)  Same  as  {Frigate  bird}.