Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[boht] /boʊt/
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 ship1 (def 10).
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.
  1. to fail to take advantage of an opportunity:
    He missed the boat when he applied too late to get into college.
  2. to miss the point of; fail to understand:
    I missed the boat on that explanation.
rock the boat. rock2 (def 17).
Origin of boat
before 900; Middle English boot (noun), Old English bāt; cognate with Old Norse beit
Related forms
boatable, adjective
boatless, adjective
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for boat
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Demetrios, we could see, sailing his boat alone, had his hands full.

  • My brother went off to the boat and brought ashore the things we required.

  • A negro came across the river with his boat loaded with oranges.

    Diary of an Enlisted Man Lawrence Van Alstyne
  • The first thing I am going to do is to catch some fish, if you'll lend me your boat.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • We can put in the whole day getting the boat from the station.

    The Motor Boys Afloat Clarence Young
British Dictionary definitions for boat


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
(not in technical use) another word for ship
(navy) a submarine
a container for gravy, sauce, etc
a small boat-shaped container for incense, used in some Christian churches
in the same boat, sharing the same problems
burn one's boats, See burn1 (sense 19)
miss the boat, to lose an opportunity
(Brit, informal) push the boat out, to celebrate, esp lavishly and expensively
(informal) rock the boat, to cause a disturbance in the existing situation
(intransitive) to travel or go in a boat, esp as a form of recreation
(transitive) to transport or carry in a boat
Word Origin
Old English bāt; related to Old Norse beit 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for boat

Old English bat "boat, ship, vessel," from Proto-Germanic *bait- (cf. Old Norse batr, Dutch boot, German Boot), possibly from PIE root *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 Old English or Norse. Spanish batel, Italian battello, Medieval Latin batellus likewise probably are from Germanic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for boat



  1. A car: The little boat (automobile, in the argot of '22) (1915+)
  2. A big car: Why don't you park that boat there, hop inside with me (1920+)
  3. A big shoe; gunboats: leaving his boats out in the hall

Related Terms

the gravy train, lifeboat, man in the boat, miss the boat, on the gravy train, ride the gravy train, rock the boat

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with boat
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for boat

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for boat