\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To keep seeing him means to live constantly on edge (not that the element of danger, like the risks the narrator is aware anyone runs by cruising, doesn’t also feed his excitement). Sigrid Nunez, The New York Review of Books, "Sex and Sincerity," 27 May 2020 Bayern was cruising with a 3-0 lead at halftime after goals from Leon Goretzka, the league's top-scorer Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller but after the break Frankfurt defender Martin Hinteregger grabbed two quick goals in reply for the visitor. CNN, "Lionel Messi and La Liga stars get go ahead to resume play early next month," 23 May 2020 Deer Park was essentially cruising 3-1 when United scored two runs in the sixth inning. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Home run hands Deer Park hypothetical 21-6A baseball crown," 2 May 2020 On the Ohio Senate side, state Rep. George Lang cruised to victory in the Senate District 4 Republican primary over state Rep. Candice Keller and West Chester Township Trustee Lee Wong. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, "Some tightly fought Ohio legislative races remain close in unofficial count," 29 Apr. 2020 Visitors cruised around seaside neighborhoods searching for parking and packed sidewalks that are inches from people’s front yards, said Diane Dixon, a councilwoman whose district runs along the beach. USA TODAY, "Packed beaches, Tupac files for unemployment, no Mother’s Day flowers: News from around our 50 states," 29 Apr. 2020 During the frequent hatches, pods of fish will cruise the water sipping bugs, making for excellent sight-casting to large fish with tiny dries. John B. Snow, Outdoor Life, "The Godfather of Montana’s Bighorn River," 28 Apr. 2020 Once airborne, the drone, made of expanded foam and with an 11-foot wingspan, can cruise at about 60 mph and cover 100 miles. Alex Davies, Wired, "Drones Take Flight to Carry Covid-19 Tests to Labs in Africa," 22 Apr. 2020 On March 30th in Hillbrow, a gritty part of Johannesburg, an unmarked police car cruised the streets before a plainclothes officer got out and chased residents who were deemed to be defying the rules. The Economist, "Some African governments are enforcing lockdowns brutally," 4 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order for cruise ships on March 14. Curtis Tate, USA TODAY, "Family of Grand Princess passenger who died of coronavirus files suit against Carnival," 31 May 2020 The government previously restricted large cruise ships until July 1., "Indonesians return to mosques, at a distance," 29 May 2020 The risk of going to an outdoor cafe or walking on widened, car-free streets seems much less than, say, working in a meatpacking plant or going on a cruise ship vacation. Adam Rogers, Wired, "To Beat Covid-19, You Have to Know How A Virus Moves," 28 May 2020 Going forward, any nursing home or cruise ship operator who even thinks about putting profits over customer health and safety won’t make it to the next quarter. Washington Post, "The end of life as we know it? Get real.," 28 May 2020 In one cruise-ship coronavirus outbreak, more than 80% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 did not show any symptoms of the disease, according to a new paper published in the journal Thorax. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Up to 80% of COVID-19 Infections Are Asymptomatic, a New Case Report Says," 27 May 2020 Whatever happened to the cruise ship comedian who left quarantine and came back to Oregon? oregonlive, "Reader questions about coronavirus and more, answered," 25 May 2020 Some were connected to cruise ships, though health officials did not provide additional details. Joaquin Palomino,, "Why has coronavirus taken such a toll on SF’s Asian American community? Experts perplexed over high death rate," 20 May 2020 The researchers built a model using a combination of data from France overall and from a cruise ship on which every infection was traced. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "3 different countries, 1 result: Stay-at-home orders work," 18 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cruise

Time Traveler for cruise

Time Traveler

The first known use of cruise was in 1651

See more words from the same year

Statistics for cruise

Last Updated

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cruise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!