steam·​boat | \ ˈstēm-ˌbōt How to pronounce steamboat (audio) \

Definition of steamboat

: 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

In one year the number of steamboats operating in New York waters rose from six to 43, while fares fell by 40%. John Steele Gordon, WSJ, "The United States of Free Trade," 21 Sep. 2018 Spanish-looking relics like pipes and models of classic cars and steamboats line the window sills. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "NuLu's new barbershop is keeping patrons as fresh as the neighborhood," 10 July 2018 Many other skeptics in Mr. Grasso’s chronicle are obscure, like John Fitch, the inventor of an early steamboat well ahead of Robert Fulton. D.g. Hart, WSJ, "‘Skepticism and American Faith’ Review: Believe It or Not," 22 Aug. 2018 That means private bars, air conditioning and the experience of being on an actual steamboat. Jeffrey Lee Puckett, The Courier-Journal, "Still looking for Forecastle tickets? Some options remain," 11 July 2018 Three miles north of Mud Island is another site for public recreation, Tom Lee Park, named for the African American riverboat worker who saved the lives of 32 white passengers in 1925 when the M.E. Norman steamboat capsized. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "A Reading List for Reconsidering the Fourth of July in 2018," 3 July 2018 What's better than two steamboats racing each other down the mighty Ohio River? Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Move over, Belles. There's a Duchess coming to Louisville's Great Steamboat Race.," 16 Mar. 2018 BB Riverboats, founded in 1979, is known for tours harkening back to an era of paddlewheel steamboats. Chris Mayhew,, "BB Riverboats new Ohio River cruise hub and bar arrives July 4," 3 July 2018 Visitors can learn about the steamboats that traveled the Trinity River by viewing a paddlewheel segment from the Black Cloud (ca. Community Report, Houston Chronicle, "Sam Houston Regional Library set to reopen June 9 after renovations," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'steamboat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of steamboat

1785, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about steamboat

Statistics for steamboat

Last Updated

27 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for steamboat

The first known use of steamboat was in 1785

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for steamboat



English Language Learners Definition of steamboat

: a boat that is powered by steam


steam·​boat | \ ˈstēm-ˌbōt How to pronounce steamboat (audio) \

Kids Definition of steamboat

: a boat powered by steam

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on steamboat

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with steamboat

Spanish Central: Translation of steamboat

Nglish: Translation of steamboat for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of steamboat for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about steamboat

Comments on steamboat

What made you want to look up steamboat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!