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 Spend your days here exploring the sea by boat, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard. National Geographic, "Baja and the Sea of Cortez Expedition: Marine Conservation," 15 Sep. 2019 The lower dock is dedicated to play, with floats, boats and kayaks for guests. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Sausalito houseboat a salute to modern Danish art and Hawaiian wood," 31 Aug. 2019 Visitors would be able to rent paddle boats, kayaks or take rides on boats. David Tarrant, Dallas News, "Surf’s up: Wave pool, Crystal Lagoon among plans unveiled at town hall for new $1B Rowlett development," 9 Aug. 2019 Bridgeland has 3,000-plus acres dedicated to lakes, trails and parks, and offers a resort-style pool, disc-golf course, stocked lakes and complimentary use of kayaks, paddle boats and other recreational equipment for residents. Houston Chronicle, "Howard Hughes Corp. donates Bridgeland lot to the Benefit Homes Project," 3 Aug. 2019 Stop by the in-park St. Johns River Cruises booth for narrated river tours aboard a pontoon boat, plus kayak and canoe rentals. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida Springs Guide: Blue Spring State Park," 25 June 2019 Visitors can explore the property a variety of ways -- by flying high ziplining, challenge their skills on the adventure course or, new this year, renting pedal boats or kayaks to take the fun on the water. Hannah Drown, cleveland, "Video: First-person zipline, adventure course at opening day of Lake Erie Canopy Tours," 3 May 2019 At the heart of Artavia will be a 13-acre community amenity complex including a 5-acre lake with paddleboats and a kayak launch area. Houston Chronicle, "New Artavia community offers Enchanted Village Tour of homes," 16 Nov. 2019 Seminole County deputies are searching for a possible missing person after finding an empty kayak floating on Lake Jesup early Friday morning. Katie Rice, orlandosentinel.com, "Empty kayak found floating in Lake Jesup, officials search for missing kayaker," 15 Nov. 2019

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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Learn More about kayak

Time Traveler for kayak

Time Traveler

The first known use of kayak was in 1757

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Statistics for kayak

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Kayak.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kayaking?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=k&file=kayaki01. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for kayak


How to pronounce kayak (audio)

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

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


very cautious or careful

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