flo·​ta·​tion | \ flō-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce flotation (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of flotation

1 : the act, process, or state of floating
2 : an act or instance of financing (such as an issue of stock)
3 : 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
4 : 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

Nonetheless, the bank’s share price has hit historic lows, and is now trading significantly below its flotation price. Philip Georgiadis, WSJ, "Metro, Challenger to U.K.’s Banking Establishment, Drops One-Third in Value," 23 Jan. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Your immediate nightmare is the flotation process, which is a cross between an election campaign, a show trial and an Ironman event. The Economist, "Life as you know it is IPOver," 12 July 2018 The boy was out in the water on a flotation board when he got caught in the strong waves around 10:56 a.m., Truro Police Chief Jamie Calise said. Elise Takahama, BostonGlobe.com, "Lifeguards rescue 10-year-old boy and mother trapped in rip current at beach in Truro," 26 June 2018 Martz is accused of driving a boat that sliced across the flotation tube Horazdovsky rode with two friends on the lake, then leaving as others in his boat tried to help. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Over pleas of victim’s family, man accused in fatal Mat-Su boat collision gets lower bail," 21 June 2018 Nelson's office notes that flotation pods are not required to register with the Texas Secretary of State. Anna M. Tinsley, star-telegram, "A 71-year-old woman stopped breathing in a watery pod. Now, a lawmaker seeks changes," 5 June 2018 The primal human connection between flotation and relaxation is the principle behind one of the most inventive tools of 20th-century neuroscience: the isolation or sensory-deprivation tank. Orr Shtuhl, New York Times, "Letter of Recommendation: Floating," 4 Jan. 2018 One woman, who BI identified as Sarah Thorén , even added a few accessories like a flotation device, scuba fins and an umbrella. Eileen Reslen, Popular Mechanics, "Sweden Went for a Swim When a Local Train Station Flooded," 31 July 2018 The spa where Traywick was found dead uses a form of flotation therapy that involves a person lying in a sensory deprivation pool filled with Epsom salt to allow the person to float, according to the Daily Mail. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Biotech CEO, who injected himself with untested vaccines, found dead in sensory deprivation tank, reports say," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flotation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of flotation

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flotation

float entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about flotation

Share flotation

Statistics for flotation

Last Updated

6 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flotation

The first known use of flotation was in 1806

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for flotation



English Language Learners Definition of flotation

: the act, process, or state of floating or of causing or allowing something to float

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on flotation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flotation

Spanish Central: Translation of flotation

Nglish: Translation of flotation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flotation

Comments on flotation

What made you want to look up flotation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!