sampan

noun
sam·​pan | \ ˈsam-ˌpan How to pronounce sampan (audio) \

Definition of sampan

: a flat-bottomed skiff used in eastern Asia and usually propelled by two short oars

Examples of sampan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Max, 6, my youngest, bolted past the staff lined up to greet us and planted his nose on the lee-side picture window to watch a woman in a conical hat haul a net of glittering fish onto her sampan. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Summers: The Ultimate Guide to Not Wasting a Single Vacation With Your Kids," 20 July 2018 Housed in a pastel-yellow colonial building opposite a 16th-century church, its entrance is flanked by tall vases, depicting sampan gliding between karst hills. The Economist, "The long arm of the dollar," 19 May 2018 The petite young woman who rowed our sampan had powerful, broad shoulders and tough, worn hands gripping the oars. Diana Lambdin Meyer, kansascity.com, "The loving language of motherhood is universal," 9 May 2017 Small sampan boats, ox carts, tuk-tuks, bicycle rickshaws, and your own two feet get you through two countries heavy with history. Veronica Stoddart, Condé Nast Traveler, "6 River Cruises to Take in 2017," 31 Mar. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of sampan

1620, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sampan

Chinese (Guangdong) sàambáan, from sàam three + báan board, plank

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Time Traveler for sampan

Time Traveler

The first known use of sampan was in 1620

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Cite this Entry

“Sampan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sampan. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on sampan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sampan

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sampan

Comments on sampan

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