house·​boat ˈhau̇s-ˌbōt How to pronounce houseboat (audio)
: a boat fitted for use as a dwelling
especially : a pleasure craft with a broad beam, a usually shallow draft, and a large superstructure resembling a house
houseboater noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web One of the state’s top attractions are its traditional wooden houseboats which ply the brackish lagoons and canals that crisscross much of the tropical coastline. Manveena Suri, CNN, 8 May 2023 CroisiEurope is a cruise line, after all, and the second half of our trip was spent aboard the Zimbabwean Dream, one of CroisiEurope’s two 16-person luxury houseboats that ply the shores of Lake Kariba, the world’s largest artificial lake. Elizabeth Heath, Travel + Leisure, 17 Apr. 2023 The community—located across from San Francisco's Golden Gate strait—consists of more than 400 houseboats and floating homes that are spread across five residential marinas in Marin Country. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 15 Apr. 2023 Officials have been going after homes upstream of Paris and houseboats on the Seine that were emptying their sewage and wastewater directly into the river. John Leicester, Chicago Tribune, 11 Apr. 2023 Poet Shel Silverstein famously bought a Sausalito houseboat around this time, when the waterfront, his biography states, felt like Never Never Land. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Mar. 2023 And, your house doesn't have to be a single-family home—a condominium, a cooperative apartment, a mobile home, or a houseboat could all qualify as your main home. Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2023 There’s also the closemouthed, menacing technician who lives on a houseboat and raises snakes; the actress first hired for the show’s leading part who dropped out of the role before shooting began; and the unknown burglar who fled the frightened player’s house. Tom Nolan, WSJ, 23 Dec. 2022 Ideal would be on a houseboat in Kerala, motoring down the backwaters with my own cook and boatman and sipping toddy; or else under an umbrella at some warm beach while digitally disconnected. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1772, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of houseboat was in 1772

Dictionary Entries Near houseboat

Cite this Entry

“Houseboat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


house·​boat ˈhau̇s-ˌbōt How to pronounce houseboat (audio)
: a roomy usually shallow and flat-bottomed pleasure boat equipped for use as a dwelling or for cruising

More from Merriam-Webster on houseboat

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