a vessel for transport by water, constructed to provide buoyancy by excluding water and shaped to give stability and permit propulsion.
a small ship, generally for specialized use: a fishing boat.
a small vessel carried for use by a large one, as a lifeboat: They lowered the boats for evacuation.
a ship.
a vessel of any size built for navigation on a river or other inland body of water.
a serving dish resembling a boat: a gravy boat; a celery boat.
Ecclesiastical. a container for holding incense before it is placed in the censer.
verb (used without object)
to go in a boat: We boated down the Thames.
verb (used with object)
to transport in a boat: They boated us across the bay.
to remove (an oar) from the water and place athwartships. Compare ship ( def 8 ).
in the same boat, in the same circumstances; faced with the same problems: The new recruits were all in the same boat.
miss the boat, Informal.
to fail to take advantage of an opportunity: He missed the boat when he applied too late to get into college.
to miss the point of; fail to understand: I missed the boat on that explanation.
rock the boat. rock2 ( def 15 ).

before 900; Middle English boot (noun), Old English bāt; cognate with Old Norse beit

boatable, adjective
boatless, adjective

barge, boat, canoe, cruise ship, sailboat, ship, yacht. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
boat (bəʊt)
1.  a small vessel propelled by oars, paddle, sails, or motor for travelling, transporting goods, etc, esp one that can be carried aboard a larger vessel
2.  (not in technical use) another word for ship
3.  navy a submarine
4.  a container for gravy, sauce, etc
5.  a small boat-shaped container for incense, used in some Christian churches
6.  in the same boat sharing the same problems
7.  burn one's boats See burn
8.  miss the boat to lose an opportunity
9.  informal (Brit) push the boat out to celebrate, esp lavishly and expensively
10.  informal rock the boat to cause a disturbance in the existing situation
11.  (intr) to travel or go in a boat, esp as a form of recreation
12.  (tr) to transport or carry in a boat
[Old English bāt; related to Old Norse beit boat]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. bat "boat, ship, vessel," from P.Gmc. *bait- (cf. O.N. batr, Du. boot, Ger. Boot), possibly from PIE base *bheid- "to split" (see fissure), with the sense of making a boat by hollowing out a tree trunk; or it may be an extension of the name for some part of a ship.
French bateau "boat" is from O.E. or O.N.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for Boats
Boats are used for intervillage travel and subsistence activities.
But after the cold war, construction was stopped at three boats.
He experimented with designing a new apparatus for human propulsion of small
Quest is called in when several boats and ships are destroyed by a mysterious
  light beam.
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