\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Under added scrutiny since the Conception disaster, the Coast Guard has stepped up inspections of similar boats across the country. Fox News, "California dive boat in Labor Day fire was exempt from Coast Guard safety regulations: report," 26 Nov. 2019 If Steyer, financially, was a battleship compared to other candidates’ fishing boats, Bloomberg is an aircraft carrier. NBC News, "Who has more to fear from Bloomberg: The Democrats or Trump?," 25 Nov. 2019 Here, families relax on wide beaches and watch shrimp boats fade into the gulf. Beth Warren,, "How a Mississippi trooper almost took down the world’s most powerful cartel boss," 25 Nov. 2019 Genetic material can also be transferred on the many hulls of ships and boats passing through the Chicago Area Waterways System as well. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Asian Carp 'eDNA' found in Chicago creek near Lake Michigan. But what does it mean?," 25 Nov. 2019 And with more boats passing through a smaller volume of water, underwater ambient noise levels increased. Shreya Dasgupta, Quartz India, "Noisy ships on India’s Ganga river are drowning the clicks of dolphins," 21 Nov. 2019 Some crews joined their efforts, going out together to search rather than putting more than one boat in the water at a time. Shady Grove Oliver, Anchorage Daily News, "Utqiagvik finally celebrates first successful bowhead hunt of season," 21 Nov. 2019 Herders realized they would then have to move the animals by car, train or boat. Juliana Hanle, Scientific American, "The Fight for the Reindeer," 18 Nov. 2019 Unsafe duck boats are a major reason, according to critics and lawsuits. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Report blasts Coast Guard for not forcing change on duck boats before deadly sinking," 14 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 That could raise prices for all types of fuels—from home heating oil in Pennsylvania to boating fuel in Florida and gasoline across the country—just as the presidential primaries enter full swing, analysts said. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, "U.S. Seeks More Time for Ships to Switch to Cleaner Fuels," 18 Oct. 2018 But adding the background layer of industry re-defining practices — from paying farmers and factory workers fair, living wages to boating their goods from India to massively reduce carbon emissions — makes for a truly good night's sleep. Courtney Thompson, CNN Underscored, "Boll & Branch just launched at Nordstrom! Shop the best styles," 28 Oct. 2019 Olympic sailing crews, boating enthusiasts and excitement-thirsty locals packed Trieste’s piers, old world cafes and vast square facing the sea. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "No Wind. No Problem. The Sailing Race Must Go On.," 24 Oct. 2019 Dominant with both Liverpool and Celtic, Dalglish has been given a 92-rated prime card which boats 92 shooting, 90 dribbling and 90 pace., "FIFA 20: Ratings of All-New Icons Revealed Featuring Zinedine Zidane, Didier Drogba & Pep Guardiola," 3 Sep. 2019 The operator of the boat on which Kelsey Starling was a passenger during a July 4 crash on Smith Lake has pleaded guilty to boating under the influence. Carol Robinson, al, "Man pleads guilty to boating under the influence after Kelsey Starling death," 27 Aug. 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about boat

Time Traveler for boat

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for boat

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Boat.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!