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

Most visitors will rent a kayak for the day and pack a lunch, drinks and treats. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "The best way to see Monterey? From the water," 6 Sep. 2019 Fish from a kayak or from one of the sandy beaches that line the lagoon. Frank Sargeant, al, "Get outdoors notes from around Alabama," 27 Aug. 2019 Folks casually angling from a kayak can still face fines of up to $1,000 for a single offense, but such tickets appear to be rare. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California cracks down on poaching in marine protected areas, but small-time anglers slip under the radar," 18 Aug. 2019 The opening shot shows Bernadette in a kayak, drifting amid the icebergs of Antarctica, and the movie returns there for its final act. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” Is at Cate Blanchett’s Command," 16 Aug. 2019 For the thousands leaving distant suburbs at unholy hours, there is always some guy who crosses the Hudson in a collapsible kayak before unfolding his bike. Jeff Giles, New York Times, "Commuting Has Always Been Soul-Crushing, but There Are Inspiring Options," 15 Aug. 2019 Put in a kayak at the floating dock near the Illinois Ave. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Visit the Wisconsin Dells for an overnight adventure," 14 July 2019 The rumble of a kayak being dragged across the pebbled beach. Christopher Reynolds, latimes.com, "On Santa Cruz, California’s largest island, foxes play and a traffic jam is 6 kayaks," 9 June 2019 Cozy-up on a lounge chair beside quaking aspens or explore the lake by kayak, launched from the club’s private pier, for some exercise. Agatha French, Orange County Register, "Lake Tahoe: The jewel of the Sierras shines bright," 21 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries near kayak








Statistics for kayak

Last Updated

13 Sep 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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