Definition of sampan
: a flat-bottomed skiff used in eastern Asia and usually propelled by two short oars
Recent Examples of sampan from the Web
The petite young woman who rowed our sampan had powerful, broad shoulders and tough, worn hands gripping the oars.
Small sampan boats, ox carts, tuk-tuks, bicycle rickshaws, and your own two feet get you through two countries heavy with history.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sampan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of sampan
Chinese (Guangdong) sàambáan, from sàam three + báan board, plank
First Known Use: 1620See Words from the same year
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