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noun \ˈflōt\

Definition of float

  1. 1 :  an act or instance of floating

  2. 2 :  something that floats in or on the surface of a fluid: as a :  a device (as a cork) buoying up the baited end of a fishing line b :  a floating platform anchored near a shoreline for use by swimmers or boats c :  a hollow ball that floats at the end of a lever in a cistern, tank, or boiler and regulates the liquid level d :  a sac containing air or gas and buoying up the body of a plant or animal e :  a watertight structure giving an airplane buoyancy on water

  3. 3 :  a tool or apparatus for smoothing a surface (as of wet concrete)

  4. 4 :  a government grant of a fixed amount of land not yet located by survey out of a larger specific tract

  5. 5 :  a vehicle with a platform used to carry an exhibit in a parade; also :  the vehicle and exhibit together

  6. 6 a :  an amount of money represented by checks outstanding and in process of collection b :  the time between a transaction (as the writing of a check or a purchase on credit) and the actual withdrawal of funds to cover it c :  the volume of a company's shares available for active trading in the auction market

  7. 7 :  a soft drink with ice cream floating in it

Examples of float

  1. We are building a float for the homecoming parade.

  2. <the crew put the cargo on the float before heading back down the river>

Origin of float

Middle English flote boat, float, from Old English flota ship; akin to Old High German flōz raft, stream, Old English flēotan to float — more at fleet

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of float

  • : to rest on top of a liquid

  • : to be carried along by moving water or air

  • : to cause (something) to rest on top of a liquid : to cause (something) to float

Full Definition of float

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to rest on the surface of or be suspended in a fluid

  3. 2 a :  to drift on or through or as if on or through a fluid <yellow leaves floated down> b :  wander

  4. 3 of a currency :  to find a level in the international exchange market in response to the law of supply and demand and without any restrictive effect of artificial support or control

  5. transitive verb
  6. 1 a :  to cause to float in or on the surface of a fluid b :  to cause to float as if in a fluid

  7. 2 :  flood <float a cranberry bog>

  8. 3 :  to smooth (as plaster or cement) with a float

  9. 4 a :  to put forth (as a proposal) for acceptance b :  to place (an issue of securities) on the market c :  to obtain money for the establishment or development of (an enterprise) by issuing and selling securities d :  negotiate <float a loan>

Examples of float

  1. She was floating on her back.

  2. ice floating in the river

  3. Will this material sink or float?

  4. dust floating through the air

  5. The incoming tide will eventually float the ship off the reef.

  6. They floated the logs down the river.

  7. She floated gracefully across the stage.

  8. His voice floated to the back of the room.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of float

before 12th century

FLOAT Defined for Kids



noun \ˈflōt\

Definition of float

  1. 1 :  something that rests in or on the surface of a liquid

  2. 2 :  an inflated support for a person in water

  3. 3 :  a light object that holds up the baited end of a fishing line

  4. 4 :  a platform anchored near a shore for the use of swimmers or boats

  5. 5 :  a structure that holds up an airplane in water

  6. 6 :  a soft drink with ice cream floating in it <a root beer float>

  7. 7 :  a vehicle with a platform used to carry an exhibit in a parade




Definition of float


  1. 1 :  to rest on the surface of a liquid <Cork floats in water.>

  2. 2 :  to be carried along by or as if by moving water or air <The raft floated downstream.> <Leaves floated down.>

  3. 3 :  to cause to rest on or be carried by water <Lumberjacks float logs down the river.>

Seen and Heard

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February 14, 2016

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