tug·​boat | \ ˈtəg-ˌbōt How to pronounce tugboat (audio) \

Definition of tugboat

: a strongly built powerful boat used for towing and pushing

called also towboat

Examples of tugboat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When the oceangoing tugboat Nellie Bly sets sail from the German port of Hamburg on Thursday, the crew should have plenty of time to admire the scenery. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Sep. 2021 Plus, the tugboat could help deploy and maintain a new river power generator intended to end reliance on diesel fuel, officials said. Chacour Koop, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Sep. 2021 The tugboat operator found the body in the Cumberland River in West Nashville around 2 p.m. and reported it to authorities, according to a news release from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. al, 14 Sep. 2021 Another time, the Army hired a civilian tugboat with an Italian skipper to tow a target for Battery Townsley’s 16-inch guns. Gary Kamiya, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Sep. 2021 There was a tugboat shooting water with a fire hose and the Twin Towers in the background. Jessica Matlin, Harper's BAZAAR, 7 Sep. 2021 The Coast Guard stated at least one vessel, tied to a tugboat, floated adrift from its moorings, according to The Times-Picayune. Lafourche and its surrounding parishes were some of the areas hardest hit by Ida. Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2021 In addition to the money, local reports said the canal would also receive a tugboat. BostonGlobe.com, 8 July 2021 That fisherman, Mark Nelson, left Wisconsin this spring for a few months to pilot a tugboat on Lake Erie. Dan Egan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 Aug. 2011

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.

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First Known Use of tugboat

1830, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for tugboat

Time Traveler

The first known use of tugboat was in 1830

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Dictionary Entries Near tugboat



tug chain

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Statistics for tugboat

Last Updated

10 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tugboat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tugboat. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for tugboat



English Language Learners Definition of tugboat

: a small, powerful boat that is used for pulling and pushing ships especially into harbors or up rivers


tug·​boat | \ ˈtəg-ˌbōt How to pronounce tugboat (audio) \

Kids Definition of tugboat

: a small powerful boat used for towing ships


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