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

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

Check out these fun pool floats and then take your pick! Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "The SportsStuff Cabana Islander Float Is the Secret to Staying in the Shade on the Open Water," 29 Apr. 2019 Super sharp lawn darts, combustible old mini cars, balls, swim floats. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "From Nightmare Temp Jobs to Ticket Scalper Horror Stories—The Side Hustles We Don't Recommend," 9 Apr. 2019 Solid ice is actually less dense than liquid water (this is why icebergs float in the ocean). Brian Resnick, Vox, "The surprising science of why ice is so slippery," 31 Jan. 2019 Words are not just bubbles that float into air then dissolve. Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Talk to Your Family About Racism on Thanksgiving," 19 Nov. 2018 Led by Peggy Bank inflatable the parade showcases some of the nation’s finest marching bands, colorful floats, giant inflatables and equestrians. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "There are tons of Kentucky Derby Festival events in Louisville. Here's the full list," 24 Apr. 2018 In between walking krewes full of the men offering kisses and hugs, the crowd enjoyed floats, bands and dance groups like the 610 Stompers. Chris Granger, NOLA.com, "Carrots, cabbages and even a few Brussels sprouts go flying at the Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade: See photos," 18 Mar. 2018 The longer route allowed floats, bands and marchers to pass by senior and public housing, and the Perkins American Legion Post that hosts Gold Star mother’s for the parade, Falvey said in a statement. Alana Levene And Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "St. Patrick’s Day parade organizers not giving up on longer route," 16 Mar. 2018 There were Irish dancers, live concerts, bagpipers, marching bands, floats, fire engines, plenty of food and green beer. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Fort Lauderdale St. Patrick's Parade & Festival absolutely the curk," 11 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Those in the latter have the same bows floating above their heads. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Master Milliner Stephen Jones Created Over-the-Top Toppers for “Camp: Notes on Fashion”," 9 May 2019 The two even stopped by the pond to look at the ducks serenely floating by. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Reportedly Takes Prince Louis for Casual Walks in Public," 15 Feb. 2019 As the cosmonauts took turns working away at the insulation, bits of Mylar and other shredded materials floated away from the work site like a dirty snowstorm. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Russian cosmonauts spend nearly eight hours cutting into their spacecraft," 12 Dec. 2018 Another artist’s illustration of a witch floating among kelp was also incorrectly flagged. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Tumblr is already flagging innocent posts as porn," 3 Dec. 2018 Then head over to Belle Isle, a verdant island floating between Michigan and Ontario on the Detroit River. Leslie Pariseau, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Days in Detroit," 3 Oct. 2018 They had been exposed to an agent known as Novichok, The government of Russia has denied any involvement in either case, floating an array of theories about what might have happened and nominating an assortment of possible culprits. New York Times, BostonGlobe.com, "Britain suggests Russia is behind latest nerve agent case," 10 July 2018 The video starts with four American soldiers seemingly floating in midair, cruising down a desert road. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Crazy Ad for an Israeli Future Tank Is Something Else," 12 Mar. 2019 The dining room has the look and feel of a men’s club, albeit one floating in the clouds above Lower Manhattan. John Brodie, Town & Country, "How to Talk to Your Children About Money," 29 Jan. 2019

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

11 May 2019

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

noun

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.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on float

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with float

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for float

Spanish Central: Translation of float

Nglish: Translation of float for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of float for Arabic Speakers

Comments on float

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