packet boat

noun
variants: or less commonly packet ship

Definition of packet boat

1 :a boat (as originally a fast sailing ship) chartered by a government to carry mail and dispatches
  • letters … conveyed by government packet boats or by ordinary sailing ship
  • —Samuel Graveson
2 a :a river or coastal steamer usually of shallow draft carrying mail, passengers, and cargo on a regular run
  • took passage for Boston on the midweek packet boat
  • —Kenneth Roberts
b :a canalboat designed to carry passengers

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!