1 of 2

noun (1)

pon·​toon pän-ˈtün How to pronounce pontoon (audio)
: a flat-bottomed boat (such as a lighter)
especially : a flat-bottomed boat or portable float used in building a floating temporary bridge
: a float especially of a seaplane


2 of 2

noun (2)


Examples of pontoon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Guests can take in the eclipse by land or by lake, there are complimentary kayaks, paddle boats, and even a pontoon boat for rent. Nicole Kliest, Vogue, 30 Jan. 2024 Kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and pontoon boats can be rented directly from the resort’s dock. Lydia Price, Travel + Leisure, 17 Jan. 2024 The boat's co-captain said he was attacked after moving the pontoon boat a few feet to make way for the riverboat. CBS News, 8 Dec. 2023 Rent a motorized pontoon or join a fishing excursion on Disney's historic Seven Seas Lagoon. Carlye Wisel, Travel + Leisure, 2 Dec. 2023 The InterContinental Golf Resort & Spa, and the upcoming Cloud 9 day-club pontoon, are among the latest to launch coral-planting experiences in the footsteps of marine ecotourism pioneers like the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Kokomo Island Fiji, and Six Senses Fiji. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 15 Nov. 2023 These twin pontoons are not planing hulls, nor are the Volvos especially powerful for this size yacht. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 23 Oct. 2023 The Russians attempted seven unsuccessful pontoon crossings before retreating. Marc Santora, New York Times, 20 Oct. 2023 The following morning, dozens of people gathered on pontoon boats to watch. Tad Friend, The New Yorker, 4 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pontoon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

French ponton, from Old French, from Latin ponton-, ponto

Noun (2)

perhaps alteration of vingt-et-un

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1676, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1917, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pontoon was in 1676

Dictionary Entries Near pontoon

Cite this Entry

“Pontoon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pontoon. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a flat-bottomed boat
: a float used in building a floating bridge
: a float of an airplane


from French ponton "a floating bridge, punt," from Latin ponton-, ponto (same meaning), from pont-, pons "bridge" — related to punt entry 1

More from Merriam-Webster on pontoon

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