steam·​boat ˈstēm-ˌbōt How to pronounce steamboat (audio)
: a boat driven by steam power
specifically : a shallow-draft vessel used on inland waterways

Examples of steamboat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At the nearby high school Johnson attended — Captain Shreve, named for the steamboat captain who inspired the city’s name — a video screen at the entrance flashed a tribute to Johnson, class of 1990, as the 1,800 students prepared for a pep rally. Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Washington Post, 29 Oct. 2023 The Neches River had once been a popular route for frontier steamboats and other vessels. Daniel Wu, Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2023 There were still statutes about steamboats and horses. Robert Samuels, The New Yorker, 4 Aug. 2023 Milner spent hours documenting and photographing what looked to be the remains of steamboats and then reported his findings to Susan Kilcrease of the Ice House Museum in nearby Silsbee. Michael Barnes, USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2023 American Queen Voyages offers several itineraries along the Mississippi — one along the Upper Mississippi, another on the Lower Mississippi, and one that also sails a portion of the Ohio River — on its signature paddle-wheel steamboats. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, 23 Feb. 2023 Neither of them really belongs on a steamboat, and neither did the guy who wrote the song, a white suburban kid from El Cerrito named John Fogerty. Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 25 May 2023 The city’s history has helped shape the response to the fight, which took place on a dock once used as a port for the thousands of enslaved people who arrived in the city on steamboats. Rachel Hatzipanagos, Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2023 The Louisiana off Washington Island is great for beginner divers The Louisiana, a wooden freight steamboat built in 1887, was ravaged by a severe snowstorm and a fire in November 1913. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 20 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'steamboat.' 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

1785, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of steamboat was in 1785

Dictionary Entries Near steamboat

Cite this Entry

“Steamboat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


steam·​boat ˈstēm-ˌbōt How to pronounce steamboat (audio)
: a boat driven by steam

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