\ ˈbōt How to pronounce boat (audio) \
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 How to pronounce boatful (audio) \ noun
boatlike \ ˈbōt-​ˌlīk How to pronounce boatlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for boat

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In February, tourists on a catamaran near the coast of Baker's Bay came upon the bodies of 28 Haitian migrants lured by construction and maintenance jobs whose boat capsized. Kevin Sieff,, "When Hurricane Dorian blew through the Bahamas, it exposed one of the world’s great faultlines of inequality," 16 Sep. 2019 After the festival, attendees will go on a two-hour boat ride to see whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. Burbank Leader, "Burbank Area Calendar: Square-dancing class for singles and couples offered at senior center," 16 Sep. 2019 Then get out on the water, on the lookout for whale species such as blue, sperm, and fin; and cruise the coast in a traditional panga boat. National Geographic, "Baja and the Sea of Cortez Expedition: Marine Conservation," 15 Sep. 2019 Bottom line is this is some easy and exciting fishing that most anyone with a boat can get in on at this time of year. Frank Sargeant, al, "Fry-size shad provide tasty treat for bass and anglers," 15 Sep. 2019 The employee, Jason Love, had the winning bid, buying a motor boat for $168.16. Andrew J. Tobias,, "House Bill 6 referendum fight heats up fast: Capitol Letter," 13 Sep. 2019 While the specific impacts of starry stonewort are largely unknown, the main way to prevent it from spreading is to make sure boats are clean of debris. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An invasive species called starry stonewort has spread to Lake Country waters," 16 Sep. 2019 In more than two dozen cases, boats have been stalled in the Mediterranean — sometimes for several weeks., "Most read on," 15 Sep. 2019 In more than two-dozen cases, boats have been stalled in the Mediterranean — sometimes for several weeks. Washington Post, "Italy offers migrant ship passage to island port, softening its closed-door policy," 14 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb After years of litigation, coastal and ranch officials agreed last year to a controversial deal that would have allowed access only to landowners, their guests, visitors with guides and those who could boat or paddle in from 2 miles away. Rosanna Xiastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Bill to open Hollister Ranch beaches to the public heads to Gov. Newsom. Will he sign it?," 9 Sep. 2019 Cruising together and boating together and playing golf together and tennis. Christopher Keating,, "Far from the headaches of governing, Gov. Ned Lamont has a hideaway on the island of North Haven off the coast of Maine," 23 Aug. 2019 The area now boats a significant Ethiopian community, and a mural on the 400 block that honors both generations of immigrants. Sameer Rao,, "See Baltimore’s Asian American past and future converge at the Charm City Night Market," 16 Sep. 2019 The largest fish in derby history was boated in 1996, when Minnesota’s Jerry Meinders hauled in a 376.9-pound whopper. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby to end this year after a 34-year run," 11 Sep. 2019 An average of about 650 people die each year in boating accidents, according to statistics from the Coast Guard from the past 20 years. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, "At least eight dead, 26 unaccounted for after diving boat catches fire near California coast, officials say," 3 Sep. 2019 Videos and photos from the trip have been shared across social media platforms, often accompanied by the hashtag #BahamaWolves, showing the team boating, playing volleyball and relaxing poolside. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Traveling across the U.S., and to the Bahamas, Ryan Saunders and the Timberwolves placing a premium on team bonding," 2 Sep. 2019 Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge in southern Idaho faces two significant changes: opening a season for hunting elk with bows and arrows and extending boating season by a month. Keith Ridler, The Know, "A Colorado wildlife refuge will allow hunting and fishing for the first time," 11 Sep. 2019 In total, 766 people were arrested on DWI charges and 14 were arrested on boating while intoxicated (BWI) charges, according to the release. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Over 750 intoxicated drivers arrested in Montgomery County during '100 Deadliest Days of Summer'," 10 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for boat

Last Updated

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for boat

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

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More Definitions for boat


How to pronounce boat (audio)

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 How to pronounce boat (audio) \

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

What made you want to look up boat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not being in agreement or harmony

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