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

Other Words from kayak

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

Examples of kayak in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The duo continued to walk and kayak under their own power to sea level at the Bay of Bengal—earning them recognition as National Geographic Adventurers of the Year in 2012. Ben Ayers, Outside Online, 16 May 2022 Water and land reporter Leia Larsen joins the podcast to discuss her recent story about a man venturing out into Great Salt Lake with his kayak. Saige Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Apr. 2022 Brian Footen paddles his kayak along the Great Salt Lake near the Spiral Jetty, just south of the Rozel Point peninsula on the northeastern shore, March 25, 2022. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 To maximize portability, Oru built the 9-foot-long, 32-inch-wide, open-cockpit kayak using just two loose components that can be easily assembled through a few simple folds and the clipping of three buckles. J.d. Simkins, Sunset Magazine, 4 Apr. 2022 Catch a race or concert, try your hand at rock climbing over a pool, hop on a zipline, hike or bike the Center’s 50 miles of trails, or get on the whitewater in a kayak, SUP, or raft. Outside Online, 15 Mar. 2022 Upon arrival, two residents, one in a kayak and another in a boat, were assisting a female to shore, police said. Brianna Kwasnik, Arkansas Online, 18 Jan. 2022 The warden drove in and saw a man in a kayak on the private lake catch a five-pound bass, weigh it, take a picture with his cell phone and put the fish in the boat. John Goodspeed, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Dec. 2021 This advanced sports kayak uses a 12V Minn Kota propellor motor, eliminating the need for paddling and utilizing foot steering for the ultimate fishing experience. Jim Dobson, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of kayak

1757, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kayak

Inuit qayaq

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Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Kayak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kayak. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for kayak


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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