boat people

plural noun

Definition of boat people

: refugees fleeing by boat

Examples of boat people in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Our parents came to the U.S. as refugees, as boat people. NBC News, "How one chocolatier pivoted during pandemic by putting own spin on mooncakes," 1 Oct. 2020 Some of the boat people faced serious charges related to pro-democracy activism or their role in last year’s protests. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Hong Kong’s Boat People," 1 Sep. 2020 In 2015, four Malaysian navy ships began searching for stranded boat people in the first official rescue operation since desperate migrants started washing up on Southeast Asia’s shores., "This day in history," 21 May 2020 The Democrats would ensure that their war would finally be completely lost, and with it millions of lives in Vietnam, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, and among the boat people who fled Vietnam by sea. Conrad Black, National Review, "Richard Nixon’s ‘Silent Majority’ Plan," 5 Nov. 2019 Like other Communist paradises, Cuba’s greatest export was boat people. Mona Charen, National Review, "The Moral Failing of Bernie Sanders," 26 Feb. 2020 This influx exceeds even the surge in arrivals of boat people when a government led by the Labor party, now in opposition, called off the Pacific solution between 2008 and 2012. The Economist, "Far more would-be refugees arrive in Australia by plane than by boat," 5 Sep. 2019 Gus’s Community Market opened, becoming a gathering place for both the boat people and condo dwellers. J.k. Dineen,, "Rare floating home for sale, at a very San Francisco price," 15 July 2019 There is a way to do this, and boat people tend to like things done the right way, because their vessel, and people's lives, often depend on it. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "15 Things My Father Taught Me," 17 June 2016

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

1976, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of boat people was in 1976

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Cite this Entry

“Boat people.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for boat people

boat people


English Language Learners Definition of boat people

: people who leave their country in boats in order to get away from a dangerous situation

More from Merriam-Webster on boat people Encyclopedia article about boat people

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