\ˈkrüz \
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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Synonyms & Antonyms for cruise

Synonyms: Verb

bowl, breeze, brush, coast, drift, flow, glide, roll, sail, skim, slide, slip, stream, sweep, whisk

Synonyms: Noun

crossing, passage, sail, voyage

Antonyms: Verb

flounder, struggle

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Examples of cruise in a Sentence


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.


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

The first train, carrying workers and many of the circus animals, cruised on to its destination with no problems. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The Hammond Train Wreck of 1918 Killed Scores of Circus Performers," 22 June 2018 The Senate’s bill, which approves $716 billion in defense spending, passed by a vote of 85 to 10 after cruising out of the Armed Services Committee late last month, as my colleague Karoun Demirjian reported. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: Senate defense bill pushes Trump to get tougher on Russian hacking," 19 June 2018 Pedestrians cruising the streets of downtown Naperville now have a convenient place to hone their hopscotching skills. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Sidewalk hopscotch adds a little fun to downtown Naperville, officials say," 12 July 2018 North Springs topped Liberty City, 2-1, in the sectional opener and then cruised past host Plantation, 12-2, at Plantation Central Park to advance to states in central Florida. Gary Curreri,, "North Springs Little League 11-under all-stars shine brightly at sectionals," 11 July 2018 The cruising industry remains one of Levine's best sources of campaign cash. David Smiley, Joey Flechas And Danny Rivero, miamiherald, "Hustle and Flow: How Philip Levine made the money that’s financing his bid for governor," 10 July 2018 Play in the waves, wander Crystal Pier or join the cyclists, skaters and pedestrians who cruise the three-mile stretch of boardwalk linking Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. Dorothy O'donnell,, "On a weekend escape to Pacific Beach, you can party on the boardwalk and chill on the bay," 5 July 2018 From Fayette to Forsyth counties, these beautiful machines can be seen cruising the roads and highways of this state. Todd C. Duncan, ajc, "Atlanta Classic Cars: 1966 Chevy Chevelle is a blast for South Fulton owner," 3 July 2018 Madison Blue Springs Lee, Florida Northern Florida is home to some of the country’s finest springs, where manatees, turtles, birds, and alligators cruise the glassy, slow-moving waterways. Brent Crane, Outside Online, "America's Best Swimming Holes," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In Florida, the club predicts that nearly 2.4 million state residents will travel by car, plane, bus or cruise ship, a 6.3 percent jump from 2017. Mark Skoneki,, "Orlando tops 4th of July travel destinations, AAA says," 21 June 2018 In the film, which opens today and like the others in the franchise was inspired by the Tex Avery style of animation, the vampiric Drac (Adam Sandler) reluctantly embarks on a cruise with his family. Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hotel Transylvania 3' Director On Why The Animated Monster Mash Is More Than Just A "Silly Comedy"," 13 July 2018 Mistaking his loneliness for stress from running the hotel, his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) surprises him with a vacation on a monster cruise in the Bermuda Triangle (of course). Kimber Walsh,, "Review: 'Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation' hits the open seas with its creature comforts intact," 12 July 2018 The newlywed couple was reportedly on a cruise that stopped in the popular tourist destination, about 160 miles from Tegucigalpa. Fox News, "Honeymooning couple collide in fatal zip line accident," 11 July 2018 The couple were on a seven-day cruise on Allure of the Seas, which departed on July 1 with stops in Nassau, Bahamas; Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Costa Maya, Mexico. Chabeli Herrera,, "Honeymooner cruising from Lauderdale killed in zipline mishap," 9 July 2018 The couple were on a seven-day cruise on Allure of the Seas, which departed from Fort Lauderdale on July 1 with stops in Nassau, Bahamas; Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Costa Maya, Mexico. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "They were zip-lining on their honeymoon when they collided. He died, she was injured," 9 July 2018 The public was able to view the turnaround from the Boston Harbor, Castle Island, Charlestown Navy Yard, or as passengers onboard Boston Harbor cruise vessels. Katie Camero,, "USS Constitution sets sail, briefly, on Fourth of July voyage," 4 July 2018 About 2006, a small group met on a Chesney cruise to the Bahamas and decided to start tailgating together at his Dallas shows. Emily Yahr,, "Country music's sobering truths," 30 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to cruise

cruise ship

cruising altitude

cruising speed

Statistics for cruise

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cruise

The first known use of cruise was in 1651

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More Definitions for cruise



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 \
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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Comments on cruise

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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