\ 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 Sailors of yore sang to pass the time and to coordinate their efforts in hoisting sails and anchors, and manning the bilge pumps. David Sharp, Star Tribune, "Sea shanties are having a moment amid isolation of pandemic," 29 Jan. 2021 Hair experts consulted by the New York Times disagreed on whether the fat drops of bilge sprinting down Giuliani’s face were the result of a bad dye job, a root touchup product like a mascara or a touchup spray, or something else. Jenny Singer, Glamour, "Rudy Giuliani's Hair Melted and Twitter Is Mesmerized," 20 Nov. 2020 Down in the bilge, in a duffel bag, were a radio, sextant, compass and clock, in case of emergency. The Economist, "Wind, sea and stars Marvin Creamer died on August 12th," 29 Aug. 2020 And that stability extends to drifting, too, thanks to the Seakeeper gyro stabilizer spinning at 9000 rpm down in the bilge. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "AMG Reveals Its New Six-Engine, 2700-HP Cigarette Boat," 13 Feb. 2020 Make sure livewells and bilges are emptied of water. Colin Moore, Outdoor Life, "These 8 Aquatic Invasive Species are Threatening Fisheries Across the U.S.," 7 Feb. 2020 This allows the bilge to drain and helps prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals. ... oregonlive, "Bill Monroe: Reflecting on four decades of smiles at the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show," 19 Jan. 2020 Batteries rarely go dead at opportune times, and every boat owner with several years under his or her belt has had to delve into a dark and cramped bilge compartment at some point to swap the dead one for a new one. Pete Robbins, Outdoor Life, "10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Bass Fisherman," 16 Dec. 2019 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

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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Statistics for bilge

Last Updated

7 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bilge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for bilge



English Language Learners Definition of bilge

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

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