float·​ing | \ ˈflō-tiŋ \

Definition of floating

1 : buoyed on or in a fluid
2 : located out of the normal position a floating kidney
3a : continually drifting or changing position the floating population
b : not presently committed or invested floating capital
c : short-term and usually not funded floating debt
d : having no fixed value or rate floating currencies floating interest rates
4 : connected or constructed so as to operate and adjust smoothly a floating axle

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Synonyms & Antonyms for floating




sinking, sunk

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Examples of floating in a Sentence

the wreckage remained floating for hours

Recent Examples on the Web

Meanwhile, in-game, the cube toppled itself into Loot Lake, turning the entire body of water into an elastic purple trampoline in preparation of season 6, which launched roughly a week later and brought with it enormous floating islands in the sky. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The year in Fortnite," 18 Dec. 2018 The floating device appeared to be drifting away in the water behind his home. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Florida crocodile spotted using pool noodle to cross canal," 22 Aug. 2018 What: Choose from 3-day and 4-day adventures aboard the floating base camp of National Geographic's Seabird. Micaela English, Town & Country, "8 Wellness Retreats To Reset Your Body And Mind," 17 Dec. 2018 If the floating homes aren’t available, Amansara can customize day trips on its beautiful wooden boat. Rebecca Misner, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Deeper in Cambodia," 19 Nov. 2018 The show will follow the inhabitants of Colossus, a massive floating base located on an ocean planet. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Meet the pilots of Star Wars Resistance in a new featurette," 14 Sep. 2018 Other details of note include a floating staircase, wood paneling, and a stone fireplace that acts as the centerpiece of the main living space. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "’70s weekend home built by developer John Tishman asks $1.3M," 20 July 2018 Roughly 34,000 square feet, the nine-bedroom spec mansion has a Portuguese limestone facade, a double-height entry and a floating staircase. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Bel-Air Homes Duel to Become America’s Most Expensive," 17 July 2018 Eventually, prolonged bleeding from damaged retinal blood vessels can cause floating spots in a person’s vision, which may or may not clear up then reappear. Korin Miller, SELF, "This Is How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes," 8 Nov. 2018

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

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for floating

Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for floating

The first known use of floating was in 1600

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More Definitions for floating



English Language Learners Definition of floating

: continually moving or changing position

: having no fixed value or rate

: not associated with a particular political party : not certain to vote for a particular candidate or party in an election


float·​ing | \ ˈflōt-iŋ \

Medical Definition of floating

: located out of the normal position or abnormally movable a floating kidney



Legal Definition of floating

1 : not presently committed or invested floating capital
2 : short-term and usually not funded floating debt
3 : having no fixed value or rate floating currencies floating interest rates

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More from Merriam-Webster on floating

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with floating

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for floating

Spanish Central: Translation of floating

Nglish: Translation of floating for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of floating for Arabic Speakers

Comments on floating

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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