float

noun
\ ˈflōt How to pronounce float (audio) \

Definition of float

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of floating
2 : something that floats in or on the surface of a fluid: such as
a : a device (such as a cork) buoying up the baited end of a fishing line
b : a floating platform anchored near a shoreline for use by swimmers or boats
c : a hollow ball that floats at the end of a lever in a cistern, tank, or boiler and regulates the liquid level
d : a sac containing air or gas and buoying up the body of a plant or animal
e : a watertight structure giving an airplane buoyancy on water
3 : a tool or apparatus for smoothing a surface (as of wet concrete)
4 : a government grant of a fixed amount of land not yet located by survey out of a larger specific tract
5 : a vehicle with a platform used to carry an exhibit in a parade also : the vehicle and exhibit together
6a : an amount of money represented by checks outstanding and in process of collection
b : the time between a transaction (such as the writing of a check or a purchase on credit) and the actual withdrawal of funds to cover it
c : the volume of a company's shares available for active trading in the auction market
7 : a soft drink with ice cream floating in it

float

verb
floated; floating; floats

Definition of float (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to rest on the surface of or be suspended in a fluid
2a : to drift on or through or as if on or through a fluid yellow leaves floated down
b : wander
3 of a currency : to find a level in the international exchange market in response to the law of supply and demand and without any restrictive effect of artificial support or control

transitive verb

1a : to cause to float in or on the surface of a fluid
b : to cause to float as if in a fluid
2 : flood float a cranberry bog
3 : to smooth (something, such as plaster or cement) with a float
4a : to put forth for acceptance float a proposal
b : to place (an issue of securities) on the market
c : to obtain money for the establishment or development of (an enterprise) by issuing and selling securities
d : negotiate float a loan

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Synonyms & Antonyms for float

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of float in a Sentence

Noun We are building a float for the homecoming parade. the crew put the cargo on the float before heading back down the river Verb She was floating on her back. ice floating in the river Will this material sink or float? dust floating through the air The incoming tide will eventually float the ship off the reef. They floated the logs down the river. She floated gracefully across the stage. His voice floated to the back of the room.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Get the pool party started with this pong pool float. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "The cutest summer essentials from Target, starting at just $3," 25 June 2020 The cast had an absolute blast partying on the float with one another. Alamin Yohannes, EW.com, "Sense 8 cast members look back on Lito’s powerful coming out at São Paulo Pride," 24 June 2020 Ships filled with unwanted oil float off the coast, and our PPE might as well have been on the bottom of the sea. Paul Ford, Wired, "The Infinite Loop of Supply Chains," 23 June 2020 Next, guests will take a lazy scenic float down the Yellowstone River before enjoying sunset cocktails and fireside meals. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "See Some of America's Best Wildlife With These Luxury Safaris Through the U.S.," 12 June 2020 The carburetor features an accelerator pump and a very large-capacity float chamber, which is fed fuel by a 4.5-psi solid-state electric fuel pump. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, "Turbo Car vs. Turbo Bike: 1978 Porsche 930 Turbo vs. Kawasaki Z1-R TC," 10 June 2020 With 254 million shares in the firm’s equity float, hypothetically every share could be traded in less than four days. Sarah Ponczek, Bloomberg.com, "Everywhere You Look Under Surging Stocks Is Fervid Retail Buying," 8 June 2020 Work the live bait under a stick float, making sure the bait is suspended close to the lake bottom. cleveland, "Catfishing a treat for local kids: Northeast Ohio fishing report for Thursday, June 19," 18 June 2020 And during a sweltering summer in the South, choosing between getting out of the water to grab another lukewarm drink or having the drink come to you, nice and cool, whilst lounging on a pool float? Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "This Inflatable Floating Cooler Is Basically Made For Summer Sipping In the South," 16 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This inflatable wading pool is for kids ages 6 and up — and even adults can float around in its luxurious 22-inch depth. Naveen Kumar, CNN Underscored, "How to turn your backyard into a water park this summer," 29 June 2020 Grapevine’s newest piece of public art is a 3,000-pound granite sphere that seems to float on a thin layer of water inside its pedestal display on Main Street. Dallas News, "This 3,000-pound globe is Grapevine’s newest public artwork — and yes, you can spin it," 24 June 2020 The Explorer does feel weighty and can float around a little on dirt roads, but the chassis swallows impacts well and maintains good poise. Kevin Smith, Car and Driver, "Seven 1990 SUVs Tested: Ford vs. GMC vs. Isuzu vs. Jeep vs. Mitsubishi vs. Nissan vs. Toyota," 22 June 2020 President Donald Trump’s first campaign rally in 110 days was meant to be a defiant display of MAGA loyalists intended to energize the candidate, float new lines of attack against Joe Biden, and serve as a symbol of America's economic reopening. David Clark Scott, The Christian Science Monitor, "Monday Sunrise Briefing: Tulsa rally falls short of expectations," 22 June 2020 Experts say crack a window or open a door because the coronavirus can float through the air indoors. Jonathan Lapook, CBS News, "Improving ventilation in buildings could help reduce spread of coronavirus, study says," 16 June 2020 And third is the development of EMP satellites armed with nuclear weapons that can float for years in the sky. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "China develops weapons to fry US electric grid, eyes high-tech ‘Pearl Harbor’ attack," 18 June 2020 The eggs naturally want to float, but the paper towel will wick the marinade up to keep them covered in marinade. Dallas News, "Potato salad celebration: 4 recipes for your next socially-distanced picnic," 17 June 2020 But smaller ones — particles called aerosols — can float invisibly through an entire room, and can be produced through normal speech. Jonathan Lapook, CBS News, "Improving ventilation in buildings could help reduce spread of coronavirus, study says," 16 June 2020

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for float

Noun

Middle English flote boat, float, from Old English flota ship; akin to Old High German flōz raft, stream, Old English flēotan to float — more at fleet

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Time Traveler for float

Time Traveler

The first known use of float was before the 12th century

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Statistics for float

Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Float.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/float. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for float

float

noun
How to pronounce float (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of float

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a light object that is attached to a fishing line
: a floating platform near a shore for use by swimmers or boats
: a structure that holds up an airplane on water

float

verb

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

: to rest on top of a liquid
: to be carried along by moving water or air
: to cause (something) to rest on top of a liquid : to cause (something) to float

float

noun
\ ˈflōt How to pronounce float (audio) \

Kids Definition of float

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that rests in or on the surface of a liquid
2 : an inflated support for a person in water
3 : a light object that holds up the baited end of a fishing line
4 : a platform anchored near a shore for the use of swimmers or boats
5 : a structure that holds up an airplane in water
6 : a soft drink with ice cream floating in it a root beer float
7 : a vehicle with a platform used to carry an exhibit in a parade

float

verb
floated; floating

Kids Definition of float (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to rest on the surface of a liquid Cork floats in water.
2 : to be carried along by or as if by moving water or air The raft floated downstream. Leaves floated down.
3 : to cause to rest on or be carried by water Lumberjacks float logs down the river.

float

noun

Legal Definition of float

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an amount of money represented by checks outstanding and in process of collection
2 : the time between a transaction (as the writing of a check or a purchase on credit) and the actual withdrawal of funds to cover it

Legal Definition of float (Entry 2 of 2)

of a currency : to find a level in the international exchange market in response to the law of supply and demand and without any restrictive effect of artificial support or control

transitive verb

1 : to place (an issue of securities) on the market
2 : to obtain money for the establishment or development of (an enterprise) by issuing and selling securities
3 : negotiate sense 1 float a loan

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More from Merriam-Webster on float

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for float

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with float

Spanish Central: Translation of float

Nglish: Translation of float for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of float for Arabic Speakers

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