flo·​ta·​tion flō-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce flotation (audio)
variants or less commonly floatation
: the act, process, or state of floating
: an act or instance of financing (such as an issue of stock)
: the separation of the particles of a mass of pulverized ore according to their relative capacity for floating on a given liquid
also : any of various similar processes involving the relative capacity of materials for floating
: the ability (as of a tire or snowshoes) to stay on the surface of soft ground or snow

Examples of flotation in a Sentence

fills the tanks with air for flotation the flotation of a currency
Recent Examples on the Web The Gaia flotation foam molds to the paddler’s body. Ben Romans, Field & Stream, 21 Sep. 2023 Once finalized, nine flotation rings will be installed at south Tempe staple Kiwanis Park Lake. Ellie Willard, The Arizona Republic, 5 June 2023 The 25,000-square-foot spa features a water pavilion with a steam room, sauna, and two pools, while the flotation pavilion offers its own relaxation area. Lauren Dana Ellman, Travel + Leisure, 3 Dec. 2023 Metrics to look out for The two headline flotations of 2023 have certainly got off to a buzzy start. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune, 21 Sep. 2023 The solids left behind are removed from the slurry, and the water is recycled back to the flotation process. Andrew Zaleski, Popular Mechanics, 22 Aug. 2023 Those models get posted on the shaper’s website with charts showing stock dimensions in four metrics: length, width, thickness, and, crucially, volume measured in liters, which has a big effect on flotation, speed, and control. Bydaniel Duane, Fortune, 7 Oct. 2023 Hybe launched on the Korean stock market in October 2020 and has since used its corporate muscle to expand and diversify beyond BTS, which at the time of flotation accounted for the majority of its business. Patrick Frater, Variety, 10 Aug. 2023 Where Utah, one of the most publicly adamant schools about staying in the Pac-12, sits in that equation, that flotation, now is the next big question. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flotation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


float entry 2 + -ation

First Known Use

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flotation was in 1806

Dictionary Entries Near flotation

Cite this Entry

“Flotation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flotation. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also floatation
: the act, process, or state of floating
: the separation of the particles of a mass of ground ore according to how they compare in ability to float on a liquid

More from Merriam-Webster on flotation

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