adjective or adverb
\ ə-ˈflōt How to pronounce afloat (audio) \

Definition of afloat

1a : borne on or as if on the water
b : being at sea
2 : free of difficulties : self-sufficient the inheritance kept them afloat for years
3a : circulating about nasty stories were afloat
b : adrift

Synonyms & Antonyms for afloat



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Examples of afloat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The bill is the latest effort by the federal government to help keep afloat businesses that have had to close or dramatically alter their operations as states try to slow the spread of the virus. Andrew Taylor, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Apr. 2020 On Friday, Trump signed a $484 billion bill to aid employers and hospitals under stress from the pandemic — the latest federal effort to help keep afloat businesses that have had to close or scale down., 24 Apr. 2020 The prospect of news outlets turning to the government for financial assistance to keep afloat raises obvious questions about how organizations can maintain independence and objectivity. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 23 Apr. 2020 The American vessels included the USS Paul Hamilton, a Navy destroyer and the USS Lewis B. Puller, a ship that serves as an afloat landing base. Time, 22 Apr. 2020 A year ago, the Orioles were somewhat afloat and without a permanent solution in baseball operations or a field staff in place. Jon Meoli,, 17 Oct. 2019 Must have kept her afloat in ways that family couldn’t. Rosemary Mccarthy,, 26 July 2019 The statement was made after it was announced that ABC and Roseanne’s cast and crew have been debating a way to keep the show’s brand afloat, including a possible spinoff with Darlene as the main character. Morgan Enos, Billboard, 4 June 2018 But a proposal is afloat to restore lake herring in Lake Michigan. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 Jan. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'afloat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of afloat

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for afloat

Middle English aflote, going back to Old English aflote, on flote, from a- a- entry 1, on on entry 1 + flote, dative of flot "deep water, sea" — more at float entry 1

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Time Traveler for afloat

Time Traveler

The first known use of afloat was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Afloat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for afloat


adverb or adjective
\ ə-ˈflōt How to pronounce afloat (audio) \

Kids Definition of afloat

: carried on or as if on water The boat stayed afloat through the storm.

More from Merriam-Webster on afloat

Nglish: Translation of afloat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of afloat for Arabic Speakers


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