LAUNCH, (i) A verb meaning originally to hurl, discharge a missile or other object, also to rush or shoot out suddenly or rapidly. It is particularly used of the setting afloat a vessel from the stocks on which she has been built. The word is an adaptation of O. Fr. lancher, lander, to hurl, throw, Lat. lanceare, from lancea, a lance or spear. (2) The name of a particular type of boat, usually applied to one of the largest size of ships' boats, or to a large boat moved by electricity, steam or other power. The word is an adaptation of the Span, lancha, pinnace, which is usually connected with lanchara, the Portuguese name, common in 16th and i;th century histories, for a fast-moving small vessel. This word is of Malay origin and is derived from lanchar, quick, speedy.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)