flat·​boat | \ ˈflat-ˌbōt How to pronounce flatboat (audio) \

Definition of flatboat

: a boat with a flat bottom and square ends used for transportation of bulky freight especially in shallow waters

Examples of flatboat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The German immigrants arrived in Kentucky on a flatboat in 1794, according to various bourbon history sites, and trace their distilling ancestry to a farm in Bardstown and in Louisville. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, 28 Aug. 2020 Then there was Rufus Putnam, the Revolutionary general who actually led the Ohio Company in its difficult journey to Pittsburgh and down the Ohio on flatboats. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, 1 July 2019 Guiding the clumsy flatboats calls for expert navigation. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 16 Feb. 2019 Hundreds of thousands of bales of cotton arrived on flatboats—until the railroad took over—from the vast plantations up river to the north. Gully Wells, WSJ, 12 Dec. 2018 Courtyard Inn, 121-133 N. Front Street, Rising Sun The five buildings that form the shuttered Courtyard Inn represent the earliest links to the Ohio River flatboat industry that put Rising Sun on the map. Will Higgins, Indianapolis Star, 2 May 2018 Daniel Jones, 42, was thrown from a 15-foot flatboat and into the river near the Leisure Landing south of Springfield around 4 p.m. Sunday, Wildlife and Fisheries said. Bob Warren, NOLA.com, 30 Apr. 2018 Portland was originally this river town community, a maritime river community, all about the river trade, steamboats, flatboats. Nancy Stearns Theiss, The Courier-Journal, 29 Sep. 2017 Workers on flatboats could barely pass under the railroad bridge at Broadway. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, 28 Aug. 2017

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

1653, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for flatboat

Time Traveler

The first known use of flatboat was in 1653

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Dictionary Entries Near flatboat

flat bet



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Cite this Entry

“Flatboat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flatboat. Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for flatboat


flat·​boat | \ ˈflat-ˌbōt How to pronounce flatboat (audio) \

Kids Definition of flatboat

: a large boat with a flat bottom and square ends

More from Merriam-Webster on flatboat

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flatboat


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