house·​boat | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌbōt How to pronounce houseboat (audio) \

Definition of houseboat

: 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

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Other Words from houseboat

houseboater \ ˈhau̇s-​ˌbō-​tər How to pronounce houseboater (audio) \ noun

Examples of houseboat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The building of Glen Canyon Dam in 1966 tamed the river and created the lake that is a boater’s dream — whether explored by kayak or houseboat. Jay Jones, Los Angeles Times, "Have Lake Powell all to yourself on an off-season weekend trip," 5 Sep. 2019 Shanti Ghar started out as a barge that floated alongside Labate and Lyons’ old houseboat in the Gates Co-op, awaiting a permanent mooring at Waldo Point Harbor. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Look inside: Floating on a dream houseboat in Sausalito," 31 Aug. 2019 The $5,000 prize money went toward buying a houseboat to transport the bunnies to the island (and provide an indoor bathroom for visitors). Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "Island hopping: Bloomington teen makes biz out of taking bunnies to Mississippi islands," 30 Aug. 2019 Boatsetter: Rent a boat (with a captain) With a portfolio of over 5,000 boats ranging from small runabouts and houseboats to larger yachts by owners, Boatsetter is a peer-to-peer rental company used to rent boats directly from owners. Adrienne Jordan, USA TODAY, "Swimming pools, RVs, farms and boats: Peer-to-peer rentals take cues from Airbnb," 4 June 2019 Not long after the Nobel announcement, Morrison lost her home, a houseboat on the Hudson River. Thomas Curwenstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Toni Morrison dead at 88: ‘Beloved’ author captured tragic and joyful complexion of life and race," 6 Aug. 2019 Tourists in this city of sprawling gardens and colorful houseboats have fled — leaving behind more than a million residents, many hunkered in their homes and seized with fear. Los Angeles Times, "Fear and tension mount in Kashmir’s largest city amid lockdown," 8 Aug. 2019 Both were down below the deck as the houseboat camped in the Ski Beach area in Middle River of the San Joaquin Delta, about 10 miles east of Discovery Bay, on July 5. Joseph Geha, The Mercury News, "Father and daughter died aboard houseboat in Delta," 8 July 2019 Among the Bajau—one group of people who live on houseboats in the waterways around and between the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia—divers have been recorded holding their breath for over five minutes while hunting for fish or shellfish. Angus Chen, Scientific American, "Human “Sea Nomads” May Have Evolved to Be the World’s Elite Divers," 19 Apr. 2018

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

1772, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for houseboat

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for houseboat

The first known use of houseboat was in 1772

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More Definitions for houseboat



English Language Learners Definition of houseboat

: a boat that is also used as a house


house·​boat | \ ˈhau̇s-ˌbōt How to pronounce houseboat (audio) \

Kids Definition of houseboat

: a roomy pleasure boat fitted for use as a place to live

More from Merriam-Webster on houseboat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with houseboat

Spanish Central: Translation of houseboat

Nglish: Translation of houseboat for Spanish Speakers

Comments on houseboat

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


to spread over or through

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