spon·​son ˈspän(t)-sən How to pronounce sponson (audio)
: a projection (such as a gun platform) from the side of a ship or a tank
: an air chamber along a watercraft (such as a canoe) to increase stability and buoyancy
: a light air-filled structure or a winglike part protruding from the hull of a seaplane to steady it on water

Examples of sponson in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The sponsons will be able to store plenty of fuel, too, with tanks designed to hold the renewable biofuel of the future. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 22 Mar. 2024 Thanks to the catamaran design, the M8 made tight turns without a hint of roll, and any waves or wakes from other boats felt minimal with its high-running sponsons. Howard Walker, Robb Report, 23 Oct. 2023 The crew quarters and technical areas could be housed in the sponsons and outer hulls to ensure the main hull is reserved exclusively for guests. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 6 June 2023 That will allow salvage crews to gradually lift the ship one deck at a time, as water is pumped out and compressed air pumped in to some 30 sponsons attached to its side. Barbara Peterson, Popular Mechanics, 14 July 2014 Jones, a veteran boat racer himself, points out that the only original part of the boat are the sponsons. Nathan Joyce, The Seattle Times, 5 Aug. 2017 The boats came in all shapes and sizes — like the 10-horsepower shovel nose and the pickle fork with two sponsons jutting out front. Hasan Dudar, Detroit Free Press, 15 July 2017 Runabouts are boats with a hull that resembles that of a rowboat, and hydroplanes are faster and have sponsons that reduce surface area, according to show organizer Ed Zaleski, who was displaying his 1969 runabout named Challenger. Hasan Dudar, Detroit Free Press, 15 July 2017

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

Word History


perhaps by shortening & alteration from expansion

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of sponson was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near sponson

Cite this Entry

“Sponson.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sponson. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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