1 of 2


: any of various recreational watercraft: such as
: a sailboat used for racing
: a large usually motor-driven craft used for pleasure cruising


2 of 2


yachted; yachting; yachts

intransitive verb

: to race or cruise in a yacht

Examples of yacht in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The duo was rescued on Sunday after a group of orcas sunk their sailing yacht near the Strait of Gibraltar, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 16 May 2024 Gunna pulls on life experiences throughout the album, while bragging about overseas yacht parties, orgy fantasies, being the best-dressed at the Met Gala or dropping 50 racks for a trainer in his melodic raps. Michael Saponara, Billboard, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for yacht 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'yacht.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



obsolete Dutch jaght, from Middle Low German jacht, short for jachtschip, literally, hunting ship

First Known Use


1557, in the meaning defined above


1836, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of yacht was in 1557

Dictionary Entries Near yacht

Cite this Entry

“Yacht.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yacht. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a fairly small ship used for pleasure cruising or racing


2 of 2 verb
: to race or cruise in a yacht


from obsolete Dutch jaght (now jacht), short for jachtschip, literally, "hunting ship"

Word Origin
In the 16th century, the Dutch were being attacked by pirates and smugglers who managed to escape after their raids because their ships were much faster than the heavy warships used by the Dutch. To solve the problem, the Dutch began building smaller, sleeker, faster craft. This new kind of craft was called a jaght (later spelled jacht) in Dutch. The word was derived from the Dutch phrase jachtschip, literally meaning "hunting ship." In 1660, the Dutch East India Company presented one of these boats to England's King Charles II. He used it for a pleasure boat rather than for chasing pirates. Soon, other wealthy Englishmen wanted boats just like the king's. The style was then copied and improved over the years. The name for this craft also went through a number of changes over the years, from the original jaght, taken from the Dutch, to the yacht spelling we have today.
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