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[ba-toh; French ba-toh] /bæˈtoʊ; French baˈtoʊ/
noun, plural bateaux
[ba-tohz; French ba-toh] /bæˈtoʊz; French baˈtoʊ/ (Show IPA)
Also, batteau. Nautical.
  1. Chiefly Canadian and Southern U.S.. a small, flat-bottomed rowboat used on rivers.
  2. a half-decked, sloop-rigged boat used for fishing on Chesapeake Bay; skipjack.
  3. (in some regions) a scow.
a pontoon of a floating bridge.
Origin of bateau
1705-15, Americanism; < French; Old French batel, equivalent to bat (< Old English bāt boat) + -el diminutive suffix < Latin -ellus; see -elle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bateaux
Historical Examples
  • For this purpose he took the route of the deep and rapid St. Lawrence, making his way in bateaux for 130 miles above Montreal.

  • At present, they are navigable about half their length for small steamboats and bateaux.

    Old Mackinaw W. P. Strickland.
  • The commandant's boat had pulled much faster, and was a long way ahead of the bateaux.

    The Settlers in Canada Frederick Marryat
  • The canoe and bateaux were their only means of transportation.

  • These fairly swarmed with men loading and unloading ships and bateaux, and piling and unpiling goods.

    The Golden Dog William Kirby
  • But Clark was no believer in omens, and he ordered the bateaux to proceed.

    The Old Northwest Frederic Austin Ogg
  • His heavy artillery, ammunition, and stores, followed his march by the river in bateaux and other vessels.

  • Near this place, the two hundred bateaux had been hastily built of green pine.

  • The bateaux were now on shore, and the party landed to pass the night at the small stockaded village of Trois Rivières.

    The Settlers in Canada Frederick Marryat
  • The Kentuckians could be recognised by their call as they helped the bateaux over the rapids and launched them below.

    The Conquest Eva Emery Dye
British Dictionary definitions for bateaux


/bæˈtəʊ; French bato/
noun (pl) -teaux (-təʊz; French) (-to)
a light flat-bottomed boat used on rivers in Canada and the northern US
Word Origin
C18: from French: boat, from Old French batel, from Old English bāt; see boat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bateaux



French-Canadian river boat, 1711, from French bateau, from Old French batel, from Germanic (see boat (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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