tugboat

noun

tug·​boat ˈtəg-ˌbōt How to pronounce tugboat (audio)
: a strongly built powerful boat used for towing and pushing

called also towboat

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This improves safety on board both the vessel and the tugboat. IEEE Spectrum, 14 Feb. 2020 Of course, those leisurely moments punctuate days and nights of heaving lines, tying knots, making repairs, executing multiple refueling jobs and helping to navigate the tugboat: rain or shine, heat or heavy seas. Talmon Joseph Smith Lindsey Wasson, New York Times, 6 Dec. 2022 After a series of mishaps over the course of months, a tugboat towing Kulluk through 35-foot seas in the Gulf of Alaska had to cut loose. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 19 Jan. 2015 The candidate pool grew to include a wide range of occupations, including ministers, postmasters, prospectors, bartenders, dockworkers, tugboat operators, farmers, hunters, trappers, and bush pilots. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Dec. 2022 Under the dim glimmer of orange floodlights, the crew of the tugboat Millennium Falcon fired up her engines for a long day of towing oil barges and refueling a variety of large vessels, like container ships. Talmon Joseph Smith Lindsey Wasson, New York Times, 6 Dec. 2022 Staffers interact with him at least twice a day, giving him jars or baby toys to play with, among them a rubber duckie and a tugboat. Detroit Free Press, 10 Nov. 2022 One of the biggest challenges for a crew-free tugboat? Chris Kornelis, WSJ, 8 Nov. 2022 Ships will begin moving along the Black Sea corridor again on Thursday with a tugboat escort as a precaution, the JCC said late Wednesday. Will Horner, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1830, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tugboat was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near tugboat

Cite this Entry

“Tugboat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tugboat. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

tugboat

noun
tug·​boat ˈtəg-ˌbōt How to pronounce tugboat (audio)
: a strongly built powerful boat used for towing and pushing ships
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY