\ ˈkrüz How to pronounce cruise (audio) \
cruised; cruising

Definition of cruise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to sail about touching at a series of ports
2 : to move or proceed speedily, smoothly, or effortlessly I'll cruise over to her house to see if she's home
3 : to travel without destination or purpose
4a : to go about the streets at random but on the lookout for possible developments the cabdriver cruised for an hour before being hailed
b : to search (as in public places) for a sexual partner
5a of an airplane : to fly at the most efficient operating speed
b of an automobile : to travel at a speed suitable for being maintained for a long distance

transitive verb

1 : to cruise over or about
2 : to inspect (land) with reference to possible lumber yield
3a : to search in (a public place) for a sexual partner
b : to approach and suggest sexual relations to
4 : to explore or search the offerings of especially : surf cruise the Internet



Definition of cruise (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or an instance of cruising especially : a tour by ship

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Examples of cruise in a Sentence

Verb We cruised for a week down the Yangtze River. He dreams of cruising the Mediterranean. The bus was cruising at 55 miles per hour. We were cruising along the highway. The plane was cruising at 30,000 feet. On Friday nights, teenagers cruise the main street in town to show off their cars. A car cruised past us. Noun We went on a weeklong cruise down the Yangtze River. They went on a cruise for their honeymoon.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Most people think of submarines as ships that cruise underneath the sea, sinking enemy ships. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy Might Buy a Bunch of XL Robo-Subs," 2 June 2020 The Nautica Queen will not cruise in the Cuyahoga River or Lake Erie this summer. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Nautica Queen cancels all Cuyahoga River cruises for 2020," 13 July 2020 Rent a bike to cruise the Strand or stroll along and check out the homes bordering the path. Travel + Leisure, "8 Affordable Weekend Getaways Around the U.S.," 10 July 2020 The area was mostly devoid of large schools of tropical fish and other marine life that usually cruise the vibrant reef, and fish that typically eat algae were not grazing on the new seaweed, researchers said. Author: Caleb Jones, Anchorage Daily News, "Aggressive seaweed smothers one of world’s most remote reefs in the Hawaiian Islands," 8 July 2020 Or cruise aboard a mahogany paneled Matthews yacht courtesy of Ancient City Charters, perfect for a romantic sunset sail. Kara Franker, Southern Living, "Things to Do in St. Augustine, Florida: Attractions and Travel Guide," 30 June 2020 For some Italian-style romance, couples can cruise down Lake Carolyn in a gondola. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, "Gondola rides, ax throwing, international cuisine: Irving has wide range of date-night ideas for couples," 11 June 2020 Chances are, though, the league isn’t just going to cruise from training camp in July to the Finals in October without the people in charge having to make some difficult choices at some point. Mike Finger,, "Finger: NBA has a plan for return, but that’s only the beginning," 4 June 2020 While Iceland has announced plans to re-open to travelers by mid-June, the Canadian government closed the Canadian Arctic to cruise travel entirely for 2020. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "What the Future of Polar Travel Looks Like," 29 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The 6,680-passenger Symphony of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, was off the Dominican Republic. Fran Golden, Fortune, "The perfect storm: What do you do with cruise ships that cannot set sail?," 11 July 2020 Bill Moberg, who operates a fleet of 80 buses in central Florida, said his company would usually make the year's earnings in March, April, May and June, ferrying cruise ship guests to and from the port and taking students to end-of-year excursions. Washington Post, "America’s 3,000 bus companies make appeal for economic relief amid pandemic," 11 July 2020 At the time, the cruise ship was about 30 nautical miles (55 kilometers) from New Smyrna Beach, Florida. USA TODAY, "Kansas man sentenced to 12 years in prison in Carnival cruise ship killing," 10 July 2020 When 7-year-old Nainoa Flores falls overboard on a cruise ship off the coast of Hawaii and is returned unharmed to his family in the jaws of a shark, the miraculous event is chalked up to the legends of Hawaiian gods. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "Get your summer reading on with Amazon’s best books of 2020 so far," 9 July 2020 On clear mornings a few months a year, cruise ship passengers disembark here. Craig Welch, National Geographic, "The tree at the bottom of the world—and the wind-blasted trek to find it," 7 July 2020 Top executives at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Cruises were asked Sunday to acknowledge that people are more likely to get coronavirus on a cruise ship., "Brief Headline," 6 July 2020 There is even a cruise ship involved in our version. Jane Metcalfe, Wired, "Covid-19 Is Accelerating Human Transformation—Let’s Not Waste It," 5 July 2020 Otherwise the streets were nearly empty after most cruise ship companies canceled their summer season, eliminating nearly half of the vacation plans for the 2.2 million tourists that annually visit Alaska. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, "This year’s PFD may be smaller, but it’s helping Alaskans pay the bills during COVID-19," 2 July 2020

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


1651, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1696, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cruise


Dutch kruisen to make a cross, cruise, from Middle Dutch crucen, from crūce cross, from Latin cruc-, crux

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Time Traveler for cruise

Time Traveler

The first known use of cruise was in 1651

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Statistics for cruise

Last Updated

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cruise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for cruise


How to pronounce cruise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cruise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to travel on a boat or ship to a number of places as a vacation
of a car, airplane, etc. : to move along at a steady speed
: to drive or be driven slowly



English Language Learners Definition of cruise (Entry 2 of 2)

: a journey on a boat or ship to a number of places as a vacation


\ ˈkrüz How to pronounce cruise (audio) \
cruised; cruising

Kids Definition of cruise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to travel by ship often stopping at a series of ports They cruised along the coast.
2 : to travel at a steady pace



Kids Definition of cruise (Entry 2 of 2)

: a trip on a ship

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More from Merriam-Webster on cruise

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cruise

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cruise

Spanish Central: Translation of cruise

Nglish: Translation of cruise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cruise for Arabic Speakers

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