float

noun
\ˈflōt \

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

dock, jetty, landing, levee, pier, quai, quay, wharf

Synonyms: Verb

drift, glide, hang, hover, poise, ride, sail, swim, waft

Antonyms: Verb

settle, sink

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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

The floats will travel west along Sunset Strip to City Park, where families can enjoy a children's fun zone and free refreshments. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Fireworks and splash party highlights July 4 festivities," 26 June 2018 Luckily a few cool breezes came just as the floats began rolling. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Pride-ful: Here's how Houston partied this weekend," 25 June 2018 The floats at the Boise Pride Festival have changed drastically over nearly three decades. Michael Katz, idahostatesman, "At Boise's first Pridefest, people had to hide behind masks. Now thousands celebrate.," 16 June 2018 Maria Torres stood behind the barricades on a block of Fifth Avenue lined with high-end boutiques, cheering and waving at the floats. Andy Newman, New York Times, "Hurricane Maria Casts Shadow Over Puerto Rican Parade," 10 June 2018 Expect drag performers and elaborate balloon sculptures among the floats and revelers. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "Don't miss these 11 Pride-themed events," 7 June 2018 The booze-carrying floats have disappeared, but spirits and other performance enhancers have been detected in recent year among the crowds chugging up the Hayes Street hill and among spectators everywhere along the course. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "Get ready! Bay to Breakers will jiggle through San Francisco’s streets Sunday," 17 May 2018 Egypt has sold more than $13 billion in foreign-currency denominated bonds since the float. Onur Ant, Bloomberg.com, "Egypt Weighs Shift to Long-Term Borrowing to Finance Deficit," 23 Apr. 2018 The normal-size swan float comfortably fits one to two people at a time and is about six feet in diameter. Lyndsey Matthews, Cosmopolitan, "OMG There’s a Gigantic Swan Pool Float Now, Too," 13 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Violence interrupted at an October 2014 European qualifying match between the Serbian and Albanian teams when a drone with an Albanian banner floated over the pitch. Llazar Semini, Fox News, "Albanian fan wanted for sparking soccer match violence freed," 10 July 2018 Violence interrupted at an October 2014 European qualifying match between the Serbian and Albanian teams when a drone with an Albanian banner floated over the pitch. Llazar Semini, The Seattle Times, "Albanian fan wanted for sparking soccer match violence freed," 10 July 2018 Over the past few months, his team has released a blueprint that floated various ideas, although none expressly included a dictum that drug companies would lower prices. Ed Silverman, STAT, "He can shame Pfizer and others, but Trump doesn’t have a practical way to lower drug prices," 9 July 2018 Most people living in the Bay own at least one boat that floats, and all of the yards have vessels in various stages of disrepair parked alongside the garage. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "At Bristol Bay, there’s a changing of the guard at the boatyard," 7 July 2018 Crowley’s impending exit has opened up a large field of new names that are floating around. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Joe Crowley’s defeat could drive a bigger leadership shakeup for House Democrats," 29 June 2018 State law required that the casinos be on boats that floated, independently. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora hits quarter century as a casino town," 22 June 2018 Despite the activity surrounding it, the lot at South Broad and Fitzwater Streets sat fallow for years, attracting interest from developers who floated different townhouse proposals. Caitlin Mccabe, Philly.com, "NYC developer planning $2 million townhomes on South Broad and Fitzwater Streets," 22 June 2018 What Janaszak is working on is for the second room, about the topmost layer of water and the tiny creatures that float in it. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Unseen Oceans: How the American Museum of Natural History Builds a New Exhibit," 21 June 2018

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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Learn More about float

Dictionary Entries near float

flivver

flix

flixweed

float

floatability

floatable

floatage

Statistics for float

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for float

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

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More Definitions for float

float

noun

Financial Definition of float

What It Is

A company's float is an estimate of the number of outstanding shares available for the public to trade.

How It Works

Float, sometimes referred to as free float or "public" float, does not include restricted shares (shares owned by company officers, management, and other various insiders) because it's assumed that those shares are being held on a very long-term basis.

Float is generally described as all shares held by investors, other than restricted shares held by company insiders. The equation for float is very straightforward:

Float = Outstanding Shares - Restricted Shares

So if Company XYZ has 100 million shares outstanding, and 30 million are considered restricted shares, then the float would be the remaining 70 million shares available for trading (100 million - 30 million = 70 million).

Why It Matters

Looking at a company's float can be very helpful to prospective investors because it provides some insight into the stock's volatility. Stocks with small floats tend to be more volatile because there are only a limited number of shares that can be bought or sold in the event of major trading news. For the same reason, companies with larger floats tend to be less volatile.

Also, institutional investors usually prefer to invest in stocks with a large floats, since they can purchase or sell a significant number of shares without impacting the share price much.

Source: Investing Answers

float

verb

English Language Learners Definition of float

: 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 \

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.

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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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Comments on float

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