1 The name given to the guns mounted on the upper deck in the bows and on the poop deck astern of a sailing man-of-war and fixed to fire directly ahead or astern. They were known as the bow chase, to fire at a vessel being chased, and the stern chase, to fire at a vessel chasing. But see also chase guns. Also the name given to a vessel being chased.
2 When used as a verb, it was pursuing a vessel in wartime with a view to its destruction or capture, or perhaps to acquire intelligence from those aboard.
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