re·​float (ˌ)rē-ˈflōt How to pronounce refloat (audio)
refloated; refloating

transitive verb

: to float (something) again
Although there are no plans to refloat the wreck, divers expect to carefully document and remove whatever they can of Franklin's flagship.Bob Weber
New Zealand conservation authorities said 240 pilot whales that were stranded overnight at a remote bay … refloated themselves on Sunday and were swimming offshore.Reuters
Banks were refloated and the US trade deficit returned to its pre-2008 level.Yanis Varoufakis

Examples of refloat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to an Associated Press report, the plan to refloat the ship includes lightening the ballast, dredging the mud around the ship and refloating the ship at high tide using tug boats and the ship's engine. CBS News, 19 Mar. 2022 Early Sunday morning, buoyed by a high tide and a lighter load, five tugboats and two pulling barges, with 500 metric tons of pulling force each, will try to refloat the big ship that has nearly become a mainstay of the bay. Hayes Gardner, Baltimore Sun, 17 Apr. 2022 Efforts to refloat the boat and tow it to Sitka are ongoing, Gray said. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, 2 June 2023 One of the largest ships at sea is stranded sideways in one of the world’s key shipping canals, blocking millions of dollars in trade as frantic efforts to refloat it unfold. Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2021 Earlier, the canal authority had said in a statement that salvage crews were attempting to refloat the ship, with 10 tug boats being used to pull it from both front and back to try to extricate it. Michelle Toh, CNN, 29 Mar. 2021 Yukito Higaki, the company’s president, told reporters in western Japan that the ongoing dredging of the banks and sea floor to refloat the ship could be assisted by a high tide, which would raise the water in the canal and potentially push the ship upward. Washington Post, 27 Mar. 2021 At least eight tugboats have been brought in to reposition and refloat the vessel. USA Today, 26 Mar. 2021 Barges are seen near the container ship Ever Forward, right, which ran aground last month, as workers remove containers from it in efforts to lighten the load and refloat the vessel, Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in Pasadena, Maryland. CBS News, 17 Apr. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1812, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of refloat was in 1812

Dictionary Entries Near refloat

Cite this Entry

“Refloat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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