\ ˈbilj How to pronounce bilge (audio) \

Definition of bilge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the bulging part of a cask or barrel
2a : the part of the underwater body of a ship between the flat of the bottom and the vertical topsides
b : the lowest point of a ship's inner hull
3 : stale or worthless remarks or ideas


bilged; bilging

Definition of bilge (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to become damaged in the bilge

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Examples of bilge in a Sentence

Noun That magazine prints a lot of bilge about celebrities. tried to justify his bigoted tirade with a lot of stale and insincere bilge
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The plant often hitches rides on boat propellers, in bilge water and on floatplane floats. Author: Elizabeth Earl, Anchorage Daily News, "Invasive elodea prompts closure of Susitna Valley lakes," 20 June 2019 Carman replaced a bilge pump and also removed two trim tabs from the rear of the boat and sealed holes with epoxy. Dave Altimari,, "Judge hears final arguments in case of the sinking of Nathan Carman’s boat," 4 Sep. 2019 Sometime in its history, someone had blasted the starboard side of the wreck apart with dynamite, bending sturdy timbers outward like porcupine spines and blowing a heavy cast-iron piece of the ship's bilge pump 20 feet away. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "What will happen to the last slave ship in the US?," 2 Aug. 2019 Various rare items were also visible aboard the ancient wreck, including a wooden bilge pump and a capstan, a wide cylinder used for winding up lengths of rope. William J. Broad, New York Times, "A Shipwreck, 500 Years Old, Appears on the Baltic Seabed," 22 July 2019 Also, our vessels are equipped with watertight bilge compartments and quick-release safety windows, which allow the crew to automatically eject windows and provide immediate exit routes for passengers and crews. Crystal Hill, Indianapolis Star, "One year since the Missouri duck boat tragedy, tours across the US are still running," 18 July 2019 The shopping list for people who have decided to ride out the storm at home: plywood to board up their windows, sandbags, bilge pumps, generators, trash bags, potato chips, bottled water and wine. Fox News, "WHAT'S HAPPENING: Hurricane Florence looms over East Coast," 13 Sep. 2018 The young adult male, which rescuers named Gilbert, was drinking water from a boat's bilge pump at the marina. David Goodhue,, "Manatee freed after a year tangled in fishing line," 7 July 2018 Crocs and Kevlar gloves and weapons-grade sunglasses slosh around the bilge. Ben Lowy, Smithsonian, "The Lionfish Have Invaded, But a Ragtag Army of Divers and Chefs Are Fighting Back," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bilge.' 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 bilge


1513, in the meaning defined at sense 2b


1728, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bilge


probably modification of Middle French boulge, bouge leather bag, curved part — more at budget

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Time Traveler for bilge

Time Traveler

The first known use of bilge was in 1513

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Statistics for bilge

Last Updated

22 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bilge.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bilge


How to pronounce bilge (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bilge

: the bottom part of the inside of a ship or boat
informal : foolish or worthless statements or information

More from Merriam-Webster on bilge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bilge Encyclopedia article about bilge

Comments on bilge

What made you want to look up bilge? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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