\ 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 There were so many that our boat had a difficult time docking. Time, "‘Like a Scene From a Movie.’ What I Saw Photographing the Taal Volcano Eruption in the Philippines," 16 Jan. 2020 One fisherman was killed and two others are missing after their fishing boat collided with a chemical tanker Tuesday off the coast of Galveston, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Nick Powell, Houston Chronicle, "1 fisherman killed, two missing after boat collision in Galveston," 15 Jan. 2020 To all the absent cruisers, way up high in their glass-bottom boats. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: Chuck Machock was a coach, shrink and is in the local radio pantheon," 6 Jan. 2020 Your Instagram photo of the day Mapping the canyons: 150 years ago, John Wesley Powell launched his wooden boat from Green River Station, in the Wyoming Territory, in the first scientific study and expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers. Pete Mcbride, National Geographic, "Have you found insight on your journeys?," 24 Dec. 2019 By chance, one of her friends was on the was on his boat. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Tarek El Moussa’s Girlfriend Heather Rae Young Posts The First Photo They Took Together," 10 Dec. 2019 If that doesn't quite float your boat, Blount Small Ship Adventures added a two-week Great Lakes trip, taking visitors from Chicago to Montréal. Bisma Parvez, Detroit Free Press, "Great Lakes named a top destination for 2020 by Travel + Leisure magazine," 10 Dec. 2019 Here are five things to know about the energetic players, coach and fans that will be rowing their boat down to the Outback Bowl: 1. Giana Han, al, "5 things to know about Minnesota, Auburn’s bowl opponent," 9 Dec. 2019 Her boat was recovered and sent back to Louisville. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "20 years after row across the Atlantic, Spalding's president reflects on lessons learned," 3 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In 2017, outdoor recreation, including activities like boating, biking, festivals and associated lodging, accounted for more than $10 billion of Ohio’s economy, a growth of 10% from five years earlier. Julie Grant,, "One Ohio River town that’s using outdoor recreation to boost its economy," 30 Dec. 2019 Jack staked out 500 feet on the left fork of Henderson Creek and boated downriver to file his mining claim in Dawson City. Smithsonian, "Gold Fever! Deadly Cold! And the Amazing True Adventures of Jack London in the Wild," 24 Oct. 2019 Since it was first filled with water in 1923, the public has been forbidden from boating on it. Tom Stienstra,, "A historic bid for limited boating at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir," 27 Sep. 2019 For years, the duo traveled the world, spent countless hours boating around their home state and had their share of large animal encounters. Kelli Bender,, "Planes, Boats and Automobiles: Alaska Guide Dog Travels the World With His Owner," 26 Sep. 2019 Three men and a dog were boating on Saginaw Bay when their vessel started taking on water Nov. 23 near Spark Plug Light, according to a U.S Coast Guard press release. Taylor Nichole Morris, Detroit Free Press, "They were saved by the Coast Guard on Saginaw Bay — and finally get to say thanks," 6 Dec. 2019 Soon after Connie, with direction from Greg, took up boating which was quite the challenge since Connie never learned to swim., "Deaths in South Florida: 12/10," 10 Dec. 2019 The chemical giant also will pay for new public recreation areas with trails, fishing platforms and boating launches., "News of the Day From Across the Nation," 9 Nov. 2019 Colin boated from Quadra Island to a logging camp on the coast of mainland British Columbia, below the peak. Jason Daley, Outside Online, "This Man Fought a Grizzly Bear with a Pocketknife," 26 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for boat

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for boat

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Boat.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

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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).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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