buoy·​an·​cy | \ ˈbȯi-ən(t)-sē How to pronounce buoyancy (audio) , ˈbü-yən(t)- \

Definition of buoyancy

1a : the tendency of a body to float or to rise when submerged in a fluid testing an object's buoyancy
b chemistry : the power of a fluid to exert an upward force on a body placed in it the buoyancy of water also : the upward force exerted
2 : the ability to recover quickly from depression or discouragement : resilience his buoyancy of spirit
3 : the property of maintaining a satisfactorily high level (as of prices or economic activity) betting that the economy will maintain its buoyancy

Examples of buoyancy in a Sentence

the natural buoyancy of cork The swimmer is supported by the water's buoyancy. We hope that the economy will maintain its buoyancy.
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Recent Examples on the Web Haynes grew up amid the suburban buoyancy and abundance of Encino, California, just a few miles from Hollywood, during one of the industry’s most vital periods. John Lahr, The New Yorker, "Todd Haynes Rewrites the Hollywood Playbook," 4 Nov. 2019 According to the American Pregnancy Association, giving birth in water is thought to soothe labor pains, reduce stress hormone levels, and provide buoyancy for an easier delivery. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "Teresa Palmer Shares a Raw Look at Her Water Birth Now That She's 6 Months Postpartum," 23 Oct. 2019 Most of its bulk consists of a highly specialized syntactic foam—made of tiny ceramic spheres suspended in polymer resin—the only material able to provide buoyancy while remaining uncrushable. Susan Casey, Outside Online, "One Man's Wild Quest to Reach the Bottom of Every Ocean," 22 Oct. 2019 The ballast system, designed to control buoyancy, didn’t work properly. The Economist, "The last of the great explorers," 6 Sep. 2019 Such zeal helps explain Warren’s recent buoyancy and Sanders’ persistence near the front of the pack, particularly after Hillary stacked 2016’s deck against him. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "What Makes Joe Run?," 6 Sep. 2019 But for all their high-tech advances, Hunt said, the new airships would still get their buoyancy from hydrogen, a highly flammable gas that is 14 times lighter than air. NBC News, "Zeppelins stopped flying after the Hindenburg disaster. Now scientists want to bring them back.," 19 Aug. 2019 There were parameters that had to be accommodated—how much PVC pipe could be used, for example, or how the SeaPerch would achieve buoyancy and account for turbidity, or where its controller could be attached. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "A Summer Camp for the Next Generation of N.S.A. Agents," 15 Aug. 2019 In early missions the submarine wouldn’t dive, so Wåhlin had to adjust its buoyancy. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "A Submarine Goes Under a Failing Glacier to Gauge Rising Seas," 6 Aug. 2019

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

1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for buoyancy

see buoy entry 1

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Time Traveler for buoyancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of buoyancy was in 1713

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Statistics for buoyancy

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Buoyancy.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/buoyancy. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for buoyancy


How to pronounce buoyancy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of buoyancy

: the ability of an object to float in water or air
: the power of a liquid to make someone or something float
: the ability of someone or something to continue to be happy, strong, etc., through difficult times


buoy·​an·​cy | \ ˈbȯi-ən-sē How to pronounce buoyancy (audio) , ˈbü-yən- \

Kids Definition of buoyancy

1 : the power of rising and floating (as on water or in air) Cork has buoyancy in water.
2 : the power of a liquid to hold up a floating body Seawater has buoyancy.

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Comments on buoyancy

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


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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