boat people

plural noun

: refugees fleeing by boat

Examples of boat people in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His parents were among the 2 million Vietnamese boat people who after the war desperately sought to escape Vietnam to neighboring countries. Ken Tran, USA TODAY, 9 June 2024 Hello, boat people! George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 May 2021 Then as the boat people escaped, peaking in 1978 and 1979, the temple grew, moving to their pagoda on Cherry Street. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 3 Oct. 2022 In his first week of office, his first two decisions were: 1) to approve a Mossad operation to rescue Ethiopian Jews, and 2) to direct the Israeli navy to rescue the Vietnamese boat people. Linda Chase, Sun Sentinel, 15 Sep. 2022 Her maternal grandparents, boat people on the Yangtze River, had begun one day with eight children on the boat and at the end of the day counted seven. The New Yorker, 8 Nov. 2021 The boat people where rescued from their sinking ferry in international waters and remain onboard the ship which is anchored off Christmas Island. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 26 Oct. 2021 Then came Vietnam and the exodus of hundreds of thousands of boat people after the fall of Saigon. New York Times, 21 Aug. 2021 Darren had successfully reached the water’s edge and was thus in earshot of the boat people. Hermione Hoby, Harper's Magazine, 22 June 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

1976, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of boat people was in 1976

Dictionary Entries Near boat people

Cite this Entry

“Boat people.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

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