1

buoy

noun \ ˈbü-ē , ˈbȯi \
Updated on: 14 May 2018
1 : float 2; especially, nautical : a floating object moored to the bottom to mark a channel or something (such as a shoal) lying under the water
  • swam out toward the buoy
2 : life buoy

Recent Examples of buoy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'buoy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of buoy

illustration of buoy

Origin and Etymology of buoy

Middle English boye, probably from Middle Dutch boeye; akin to Old High German bouhhan sign — more at beacon

2

buoy

verb
1 : to mark by or as if by a float or buoy
  • buoy an anchor
2 a : to keep afloat
  • a raft buoyed by empty oil drums
b : support, uplift
  • an economy buoyed by the dramatic postwar growth of industry
  • Time
3 : to raise the spirits of usually used with up
  • hope buoys him up
: float usually used with up
  • They buoyed up like a cork.

Examples of buoy in a Sentence

  1. The tax breaks should help to buoy the economy.

Recent Examples of buoy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'buoy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of buoy

see 1buoy

BUOY Defined for English Language Learners

buoy

  • : an object that floats on water in a lake, bay, river, etc., to show areas that are safe or dangerous for boats


buoy

  • : to cause (someone) to feel happy or confident

  • : to lift or improve (something)


BUOY Defined for Kids

1

buoy

noun \ ˈbü-ē , ˈbȯi \
1 : a floating object anchored in a body of water to mark a channel or to warn of danger
2 : life buoy

2

buoy

verb
buoyed; buoying
1 : to keep from sinking : keep afloat
2 : to brighten the mood of
  • … if hope had not buoyed me up, I must have … given up.
  • —Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped


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