\ˈbōt \
plural boats

Definition of boat 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a small vessel for travel on water

b : ship

2 : a boat-shaped container, utensil, or device a gravy boat a laboratory boat

3 informal : a large car A lot of people still think Cadillac makes big floaty boats.— Mark LaNeve

in the same boat

: in the same situation or predicament


boated; boating; boats

Definition of boat (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to place in or bring into a boat

intransitive verb

: to go by boat

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Other Words from boat


boatful \ˈbōt-ˌfu̇l \ noun
boatlike \ˈbōt-ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms for boat

Synonyms: Noun

bottom, craft, vessel, watercraft

Synonyms: Verb

cruise, ferry, navigate, sail, ship (out), voyage

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Examples of boat in a Sentence


He tied the boat to the dock. Cruise ships and other boats filled the harbor. traveling by boat across the ocean


We boated over to the island. boated to the picnic site on an island in the bay
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Vos Thalassa, an Italian tug assisting an oil rig, rescued the migrants from a human traffickers’ boat on Sunday. Washington Post, "Rescued migrants questioned in Sicily about alleged threats," 13 July 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 The Energy Observer started life as a racing boat but now would make a decent space battle cruiser prop in a movie. Jack Stewart, WIRED, "The Funky Boat Circling the Planet on Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Gas," 5 July 2018 Thirty-three people have been moved farther inland and people have been advised to get their boats out of the way., "6 dead after attackers target presidential palace," 14 July 2018 The Coast Guard pulled two boaters from the water Saturday after their 24-foot boat capsized in the Florida Keys. Juan Ortega,, "Two pulled to safety after their boat capsizes in Florida Keys," 14 July 2018 While Maleka was celebrating her 15 year wedding anniversary with her husband Tiran Jackson in the Bahamas, the engine on their tour boat suddenly exploded, killing Maleka and leaving her husband severely injured. Ashley Mcdonough,, "GoFundMe Set Up For Family Of Atlanta Woman Killed In Bahamas Boat Accident On Her Anniversary Raises $140K," 12 July 2018 In his spare time, Patrick enjoyed spending time with his family and friends on his Maritimo boat, Commitment., "Patrick Francis Carney," 11 July 2018 Later, when the scientists laughingly revealed to me their boat’s nickname: the Dinner Plate. Susan Casey, Outside Online, "Susan Casey on Seeing Her First Great White Shark," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There were also three local boating accidents reported during the campaign time period. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Crackdown on Chain O' Lakes yields impaired boating arrests, citations," 8 July 2018 Those in the local boating community say the sport is on the rebound. Morgan Greene,, "Where have the boats gone from Monroe Harbor, rest of Chicago lakefront?," 5 July 2018 In a press release, Shari Ireton, communications director for the Sheriff’s Office urged people to always wear life jackets in or near rivers and to wear helmets when boating. Sandi Doughton, The Seattle Times, "Kayaker rescued from rough water in Skykomish River," 4 July 2018 George Brinzey says boating enthusiasts who raft-up on Lake Norman should be aware of the potential dangers. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Man critically injured when Jet Ski explodes on Lake Norman," 19 June 2018 Staying sober on the water is also the best way to stay safe while boating this holiday. Frank Abderholden, Lake County News-Sun, "Safety organizations, police urge caution on roads and waterways as Fourth of July approaches," 29 June 2018 Phil was an avid Florida Gators fan, nature and animal lover and enjoyed boating on the St. Johns and Halifax Rivers., "Deaths in Central Florida: 5/25," 25 May 2018 Anglers fished and boated anywhere there wasn't a sign asserting private ownership. Tristan Baurick,, "Lawmakers reject effort to make Louisiana coastal waters public," 18 Apr. 2018 The peak boating season at the lake begins Memorial Day and runs through Labor Day. Laura Bauer And Katy Bergen, kansascity, "Overland Park man arrested in Lake of the Ozarks boat crash that killed his 3 friends | The Kansas City Star," 19 May 2018

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


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


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for boat


Middle English boot, from Old English bāt; akin to Old Norse beit boat

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Phrases Related to boat

fresh/just off the boat

push the boat out

Statistics for boat

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for boat

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

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More Definitions for boat



English Language Learners Definition of boat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small vehicle that is used for traveling on water

: a vehicle of any size that is used for traveling on water

: a long and narrow container that is used for serving a sauce with a meal



English Language Learners Definition of boat (Entry 2 of 2)

: to travel in a boat


\ˈbōt \

Kids Definition of boat

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small vessel driven on the water by oars, paddles, sails, or a motor


boated; boating

Kids Definition of boat (Entry 2 of 2)

: to use a boat

Other Words from boat

boater noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on boat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for boat

Spanish Central: Translation of boat

Nglish: Translation of boat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of boat for Arabic Speakers

Comments on boat

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