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 As his vision began to tunnel and his limbs lost sensation, a tugboat passed. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "Taking Back Our Privacy," 19 Oct. 2020 So, yes, while the 1 weighs like a tugboat, much of that mass is slung deep and square in the midst of four insanely grippy tires. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Polestar 1: The World’s Most Beautiful Hybrid Car Has Arrived," 15 Oct. 2020 Gorden, a tugboat captain for 25 years, testified that the tides and weather conditions were calm enough the morning the Golden Ray departed that only his boat was needed to nudge it free of the dock. Russ Bynum, Star Tribune, "`Smooth travel' observed before ship capsized off Georgia," 21 Sep. 2020 Stakes was built like a tugboat, sported cursive script tattooed on his biceps, and could spitball on the intricacies of rocket aerodynamics at 200 words a minute. David Howard, Popular Mechanics, ""Mad Mike" Hughes Rejected Science and Chased Fame. It Killed Him.," 30 Aug. 2020 Iran has been firing at a fake aircraft carrier resembling America's Nimitz-class carriers towed out to the strait by a tugboat. Amir Vahdat And Jon Gambrell, Star Tribune, "Iran launches underground ballistic missiles during exercise," 29 July 2020 There are moments along the walk when there’s a plane taking off from La Guardia, a train going across Hell Gate Bridge, traffic backed up on the Triborough Bridge, a tooting tugboat — trains, planes, automobiles. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, "The East River Waterfront Dazzles. Take a Virtual Tour.," 8 Apr. 2020 Pamyua played while the sun set behind Mount Susitna and tugboats passed behind them. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "With big audiences impossible, some of Alaska’s most popular musicians record a virtual concert," 29 Apr. 2020 Four McAllister tugboats awaited the Comfort just north of the bridge, their bows pointing toward her. Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, "Bringing in the Comfort," 6 Apr. 2020

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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Statistics for tugboat

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tugboat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tugboat. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for tugboat


How to pronounce tugboat (audio)

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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