kay·​ak ˈkī-ˌak How to pronounce kayak (audio)
: a light narrow boat that has both ends tapered to a point, is propelled by a double-bladed paddle, and often has a closed top except for an opening in which the paddler sits with the legs extended straight out in front:
: a traditional boat that is typically associated with the Indigenous peoples (such as the Aleuts and Inuits) of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, is usually made of a frame of wood or bone covered with animal skin, and is used especially for hunting and transport
Similar stone pillars guided Inuit seafarers traveling by umiak or kayak along the complex coasts of their realm.Fred Bruemmer
: a boat that is based on the traditional kayak and is typically made of plastic or fiberglass and is used especially for recreational purposes
Today's recreationists likewise have discovered that, among paddle-powered boats, the kayak has no equal for its graceful combination of lightness, portability, seaworthiness and speed.Peter Stark
kayak intransitive verb
kayaker noun
kayaking noun

Examples of kayak in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dick's Sporting Goods: Score discounts up to 50 percent off right now at Dick's Sporting Goods, with deals on Blackstone grills, Solo Stove firepits, Yeti tumblers, tents, kayaks, bicycles, and more. Meaghan Kenny, Condé Nast Traveler, 27 Nov. 2023 Fast forward to 2007, Winter proposed to Sánchez on a midnight kayak ride in Puerto Rico, where she was born. Kara Nesvig, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2023 Come kayak in the warmer months, or check out the snowcapped peaks come winter. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 7 Nov. 2023 Meadows, streams and rivers framed our route, giving way to tackle shops, wet dogs and banked kayaks. Marlise Kast-Myers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Oct. 2023 The owner of the kayak rental company, Lee Beale, told Fox News Digital that he was motivated to speak up after learning that the witness wasn't cooperating. Rebecca Rosenberg, Fox News, 17 Nov. 2023 Family of Missing Florida Aviation Mechanic Offering $25K Reward for Information That Leads to Safe Return Blazek's lawyer claimed that Ng entered the water anyway and then pushed her kayak away. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 16 Nov. 2023 Old Mill Park also has a beach and a launching area for canoes and kayaks. Benjamin C Tankersley, Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2023 At Manhattan’s new and official beach, the wide concrete pier contains a large sports field, boardwalks, promenades, a lawn, a picnic area, an ecological salt marsh and a strip of sand — brought in from a quarry near Cape May, N.J. — near a water access point meant for kayaks or canoes. Dodai Stewart, New York Times, 6 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Inuit qayaq

First Known Use

1757, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kayak was in 1757

Dictionary Entries Near kayak

Cite this Entry

“Kayak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kayak. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


kay·​ak ˈkī-ˌak How to pronounce kayak (audio)
: an Eskimo canoe made of a frame covered with skins except for a small opening in the center
: a small canvas-covered canoe resembling a kayak
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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