1 of 2


plural boats
: a small vessel for travel on water
: ship
: a boat-shaped container, utensil, or device
a gravy boat
a laboratory boat
informal : a large car
A lot of people still think Cadillac makes big floaty boats.Mark LaNeve
boatful noun
boatlike adjective


2 of 2


boated; boating; boats

transitive verb

: to place in or bring into a boat

intransitive verb

: to go by boat
in the same boat
: in the same situation or predicament

Examples of boat in a Sentence

Noun He tied the boat to the dock. Cruise ships and other boats filled the harbor. traveling by boat across the ocean Verb We boated over to the island. boated to the picnic site on an island in the bay
Recent Examples on the Web
When the twin towers fell, the lobby filled with debris and Joe moved again, finally ending up on a boat going to a triage center on Liberty Island. John Kelly, Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2023 That’s where Daryl hopes to hop a boat back to what’s left of The Commonwealth, and Isabelle hopes to bring Laurent to fellow believers and a place of safety. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 10 Sep. 2023 As their daughter looked on, Myles could be seen getting down on one knee while the three were aboard a boat. Lindsay Kimble, Peoplemag, 10 Sep. 2023 Bill Pinkney got his first taste of floating on water as a boy riding a sightseeing boat on the Chicago River. Bryan Marquard,, 9 Sep. 2023 Thursday's attacks targeted a passenger boat near the city of Timbuktu on the Niger River and a military position in Bamba further downstream in Gao, the military junta said in a statement read on state television. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 9 Sep. 2023 Among those in the same boat as Berlanti are J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, Chuck Lorre, Bill Lawrence, John Wells and Mindy Kaling. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Sep. 2023 The boat arrived at nearly the same time as a LifeMed helicopter. Anchorage Daily News, 7 Sep. 2023 Three sailors were rescued from a sinking boat after it was repeatedly attacked by sharks more than 500 miles off the Australian coast. Richie Duchon, NBC News, 6 Sep. 2023
The couple are among at least 14 people who died in boating or swimming incidents around the United States over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 5 Sep. 2023 Toxic algae in the Willamette River continues to bloom, so county officials encourage people to avoid swimming or boating from the Ross Island Lagoon to Cathedral Park. Bslovic, oregonlive, 16 Aug. 2023 Richard Manuel sustained a neck injury in a boating accident, forcing the Band to cancel a portion of the tour and prompting Robertson to consider an escape route. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Los Angeles Times, 9 Aug. 2023 More:Research sheds new light on reason behind Lake St. Clair’s elevated E. coli levels The charter boating industry grew by leaps and bounds during the last decade, the study found. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 27 July 2023 The driver of the boat, aged 46, was arrested for boating while intoxicated, the highway patrol said. Mitchell McCluskey, CNN, 23 July 2023 Advertisement Contact an experienced boat accident attorney If you or a loved one was involved in a boating accident, contact Thomas J. Henry Law for immediate representation. Thomas J. Henry Personal Injury Law, Dallas News, 14 July 2023 Of the 636 total people who died from boating accidents last year, 54 of them were children and teens, according to data from the U.S. Coast Guard. Kayla Jimenez, USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2023 Last month, a good Samaritan found a floating brick of cocaine weighing about 2.7 pounds while boating near the Florida Keys, according to NBC South Florida. Antonio Planas, NBC News, 9 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'boat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


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


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near boat

Cite this Entry

“Boat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a small vessel for travel on water
: a boat-shaped utensil
gravy boat


2 of 2 verb
: to put into or carry in a boat
: to travel by boat

More from Merriam-Webster on boat

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