kay·​ak | \ ˈkī-ˌak How to pronounce kayak (audio) \

Definition of kayak

: 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 : 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
b : 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

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Other Words from kayak

kayak intransitive verb
kayaker \ ˈkī-​ˌa-​kər How to pronounce kayaker (audio) \ noun
kayaking \ ˈkī-​a-​kiŋ How to pronounce kayaking (audio) \ noun

Examples of kayak in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Around Seattle, Argosy Cruises suspended operations for a day, several kayak-rental businesses closed and Seattle Parks and Recreation’s concierge program canceled several park activities. Crystal Paul, The Seattle Times, "After wildfires, Washington’s outdoors industry braces for smoky summers ahead," 3 Sep. 2018 All tours include an instructional lesson, a kayak rental, and a guide, and are available on select dates through the end of September. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "Where to rent and use kayaks and canoes in and near Philadelphia," 22 June 2018 Manzanita Lake cabins: Woodsy park model cabins within walking distance of Manzanita Lake (kayak rentals) and a small store, in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Tom Stienstra: California’s 25 best cabins on golden ponds," 20 June 2018 The fun kicks off this weekend when, weather permitting, Naperville Park District opens the quarry for paddleboat and kayak rentals. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "With start of summer, Naperville offering movies, markets, boats and beaches," 12 May 2018 Canoe, tube, and kayak rentals are available from area outfitters, as well as pick-up and drop-off services. Amy Aumick, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Santa Rosa County: Home to famous blackwater," 7 May 2018 Most are full-service affairs with cafés, bars, lockers, kayak rentals, first-aid stations, and hot showers. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "Plan a Trip to Zurich This Summer (Yes, Really)," 2 May 2018 There’s on-site dining in the park’s historic lodge, bass fishing, kayak rentals, and a playground to keep the kids busy. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "7 Adventurous Family Vacations You Can Afford," 16 Apr. 2018 Christina Vázquez, the owner of Water Sports and Ecotours, which offers kayak rentals and walking tours, said the winter months are usually active. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "For Puerto Rico, the Return to Business as Usual Is Slow," 19 Mar. 2018

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

1757, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kayak

Inuit qayaq

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Dictionary Entries near kayak








Statistics for kayak

Last Updated

26 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kayak

The first known use of kayak was in 1757

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More Definitions for kayak



English Language Learners Definition of kayak

: a long narrow boat that is pointed at both ends and that is moved by a paddle with two blades


kay·​ak | \ ˈkī-ˌak How to pronounce kayak (audio) \

Kids Definition of kayak

: a small boat that is pointed at both ends, holds one or two people, and is moved by a paddle with two blades

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More from Merriam-Webster on kayak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kayak

Spanish Central: Translation of kayak

Nglish: Translation of kayak for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kayak for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kayak

Comments on kayak

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using a distributed computer network

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