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

Tijuana goalkeeper Gibran Lajud stood out too far, watching the ball float over him into the net in the 78th minute. Ivan Orozco, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Defense lets Xolos down at Necaxa," 31 Aug. 2019 Yonce said back in 2016, when there was a Kickstarter campaign for the floats. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "This Motorized Pool Float Lets You Play Bumper Boats Anywhere, Anytime," 26 July 2019 The Independence Day unity float has inspired Goldman to help organize discussions around race in Bayfield. Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post, "A Confederate group marched in a Colorado town’s Fourth of July parade. Residents made a unity float to follow right behind it.," 10 July 2019 But as the floats later in the lineup started to make their way south, the temperature dropped and the sun disappeared. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Rain-soaked Pride crowds, new mayor revel in historic parade: ‘Our battles are not over, but today feels particularly sweet’," 30 June 2019 Available at Urban Outfitters, the pool float comes equipped with a cupholder (kind of meta; very necessary), as well as an intuitive valve for super-easy inflation. Glamour, "The Mother of All Pool Floats Is Shaped Like a Rosé Bottle—and It's Only $19," 23 June 2019 That's why boats can be made of materials (such as metal) that are denser than water: the air space inside the hull helps the boat float. Ben Finio, Scientific American, "Surviving the Stormy Seas--with Science," 20 June 2019 And while they're frequently sold at beach stores, the floats are labeled warning against their use in open water. Scottie Andrew And Brian Ries, CNN, "A boy on a unicorn float drifted half a mile out to sea in North Carolina," 11 June 2019 After decantation the plastic floats on the top while the sand and rocks sink to the bottom. Nicole Winfield, sacbee, "Volcano created new Hawaii beach in 2018. It’s already covered in plastic, experts say," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The swirl of ocean currents can concentrate nutrients and free-floating larvae. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Mountains hidden in the deep sea are biological hot spots. Will mining ruin them?," 12 Sep. 2019 Tonle Sap is also one of the most fertile inland fishing grounds in the world, so stop by one of the many floating restaurants for seafood. Kareena Gianani, National Geographic, "Explore Cambodia’s ancient stone city," 10 Sep. 2019 The Frenchman already has two assists, the first an expert long pass to Bernard for the winning goal versus Watford, and the other a floating cross for Richarlison to head past Rui Patricio. SI.com, "Everton Premier League Month in Review: August - Best Player, Worst Performance & Overall Rating," 8 Sep. 2019 Meanwile, on the two other floating stages, other entertainers were carrying on. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: San Diego’s Mission Bay aquatic park dedicated 70 years ago," 6 Sep. 2019 Others speculated about a huge fish, swimming circus elephants or just floating branches. oregonlive, "The Loch Ness Monster is still a mystery. But scientists have some new evidence for a theory," 6 Sep. 2019 Chopard The self-winding Happy Sport Oval is splashed with 0.19 carats of floating diamonds in the 31.31 x 29mm case, on a bracelet of steel and 18-karat rose gold; $20,300, at Chopard, NYC and Costa Mesa or chopard.com. Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, "12 Timeless Travel Watches for Festival Season," 6 Sep. 2019 Authorities urged people to find floating devices as the storm triggered major flooding across Grand Bahama island. CBS News, "Hurricane Dorian pummels Bahamas as monster Category 4 storm," 2 Sep. 2019 Town officials then considered a floating solar array, which Dustin said Johnson Controls first suggested. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "The small Colorado town of Walden, in oil and gas country, has a new solar array. And it floats.," 1 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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Learn More about float

Dictionary Entries near float

flivver

flix

flixweed

float

floatability

floatable

floatage

Statistics for float

Last Updated

14 Sep 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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