buoy·​an·​cy | \ˈbȯi-ən(t)-sē, 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The overall effect was head-turning, a switch of polished buoyancy for cool girl detailing that simply begged for emulation. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Beyoncé Puts a Personalized Twist on I Dream of Jeannie Hair," 7 Aug. 2018 Much of it works charmingly, thanks to Mr. Mortensen’s improbable buoyancy: Tony is clearly a stout-hearted guy, as well as a slob and a jerk. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Green Book’ Review: Trying to Get Along," 15 Nov. 2018 Regardless of size, all penguins have the same body plan, including wings that have evolved into flippers and dense bones to counter buoyancy. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Penguins," 6 Nov. 2018 When operating with mechanized attack systems like this, buoyancy suffers. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Robot Will Hunt Lionfish to Save Coral Reefs," 27 Aug. 2018 Forget midi ponytails and super-slicked, nape-of-the-neck knots—this summer's most palatable updo is all about buoyancy. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Jessica Alba, Kim Kardashian West, and More Prove the "I Dream of Jeanie" Hairstyle Is Back," 25 July 2018 Located near Union Square, Spiderbands offers classes in which bungee cords and handles supply aerial suspension, buoyancy and resistance as students kick, push up, sprint and squat their way to a tighter tomorrow. New York Times, "The Resistance," 23 May 2018 The men, who are both in their 50s, were just outside Padanaram Harbor when their 15-to-18-foot open boat that dates to the 1960s suddenly took on water and lost buoyancy around 1:30 p.m., said Dartmouth Harbormaster Steve Melo. Elise Takahama, BostonGlobe.com, "Two men on fishing trip rescued after boat sinks in Dartmouth harbor," 25 June 2018 When the air pocket ran out, Graham used her legs as antennae, probing her feet around the pitch-black sump to feel for the next pocket of buoyancy ahead of her. Joshua Hydeman, National Geographic, "One of the Deepest Caves in the World is Even Bigger Than We Thought," 7 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of buoyancy

1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for buoyancy

see buoy entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about buoyancy

Dictionary Entries near buoyancy





buoyancy tank


buoyant force

Statistics for buoyancy

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for buoyancy

The first known use of buoyancy was in 1713

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for buoyancy



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, 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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on buoyancy

Spanish Central: Translation of buoyancy

Nglish: Translation of buoyancy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of buoyancy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about buoyancy

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).


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!