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 The same can be said for Mauritius’s neighbors — Rodrigues, Réunion, Madagascar, Seychelles, and Comoros and Mayotte — which all float in the Indian Ocean and have local cuisines that are often overlooked. Khushbu Shah, Washington Post, "The islands of the Indian Ocean aren’t known for their food. A new cookbook aims to change that.," 26 Aug. 2019 In June, Rafal Trzaskowski became the first mayor to take part and speak to crowds from a parade float in Warsaw, which is Poland’s largest city with a population of 1.76 million people. Madeline Roache, Time, "Poland Is Holding Massive Pride Parades. But How Far Have LGBTQ Rights Really Come?," 3 July 2019 The affidavit stated that police found approximately 75 pool floats in a vacant house where Monnin admitted to stashing them. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "Florida cops arrest man who said he stole pool floats to use for sex," 17 June 2019 In keeping with the theory, measurements from floats in the area showed that the region’s sea ice formed unusually late in the season. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Storms, Salty Water Caused Mystery Hole in Antarctic Sea Ice," 11 June 2019 The annual tradition features floats, bands, equestrian units, marching groups, drill teams, dancers and even a llama. oregonlive.com, "Portland metro Friday traffic: Grand Floral Parade closes streets Saturday morning," 7 June 2019 Jellyfish float near the edge of the boat in waters so translucent the fish are visible deep below. Aya Batrawy And Fay Abuelgasim, Fox News, "Saudi Arabia's Red Sea divers explore freedoms off the coast," 25 Mar. 2018 The sky is a flat blue behind him; its clouds float like candy. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "At PEM, T.C. Cannon’s paintings exult and reproach," 21 Mar. 2018 That’s where the Emericks died on a cloudy Thursday last spring, six days after a family celebration that included their children and grandchildren — and, at Francie’s request, root beer floats. Time, "This Couple Died By Assisted Suicide Together. Here’s Their Story," 6 Mar. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Transit Tax, in whole or in part, burdens interstate commerce by treating transiting vessels like floating ATM machines,’’ Boyajian wrote in the suit. oregonlive, "Owners of oceangoing commercial ships sue Port of Astoria, arguing that $300 transit fee is unconstitutional," 14 Sep. 2019 In digital security, the less stray information floating around the better. Wired, "Hacker Lexicon: What Are Zero-Knowledge Proofs?," 14 Sep. 2019 The floating nursery, like its natural counterpart, is a haven for myriad species, an ecosystem unto itself. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Oysters farmed in Florida are a shucking success among tide-to-table crowd," 16 Sep. 2019 Authorities have identified a surfer whose body was found floating offshore from Moonlight State Beach as 26-year-old Gabriel Reed. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Authorities identify surfer found dead in water off Encinitas," 16 Sep. 2019 On the Move, Part 2 Another rumor floating around is that Rapids centerback Danny Wilson has interest from Football League One, England’s third-tier league. Mark Goodman, The Denver Post, "Backpass: The Rapids are going to “take the L” against LAFC," 28 June 2019 Towards the back nine of our lunch, a managerial-type dude floated by and asked how our meal was. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "The new fried chicken in Huntsville you have to try," 12 Sep. 2019 The beams came from torpedoed shipping that had floated ashore. D. T. Max, The New Yorker, "In Search of Lost Sailboats," 10 Sep. 2019 In videos that soon floated around social media, the rapper was grinning, interacting with fans, lost in the energy that moved throughout the crowd despite dropping temperatures. Jessi Roti, chicagotribune.com, "Kanye West’s Sunday Service brings its gospel to Northerly Island," 9 Sep. 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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Statistics for float

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

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
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.

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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

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

Comments on float

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