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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for afloat



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Examples of afloat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web A year ago, the Orioles were somewhat afloat and without a permanent solution in baseball operations or a field staff in place. Jon Meoli,, "One year after the Victor Victor Mesa sweepstakes, the Orioles international program is in a much better place," 17 Oct. 2019 Must have kept her afloat in ways that family couldn’t. Rosemary Mccarthy,, "I learned about friendship by watching my mom and her friends at the kitchen table," 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, "Sara Gilbert Says She 'Stands by the Decision ABC Made' to Cancel 'Roseanne'," 4 June 2018 But a proposal is afloat to restore lake herring in Lake Michigan. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Lake herring restoration is being considered for Lake Michigan," 3 Jan. 2018

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.

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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 19 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce afloat (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of afloat

: floating on water
: having enough money to continue : able to continue without suffering financial failure


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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on afloat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for afloat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with afloat

Spanish Central: Translation of afloat

Nglish: Translation of afloat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of afloat for Arabic Speakers

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