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boat people

plural noun
refugees who have fled a country by boat, usually without sufficient provisions, navigational aids, or a set destination, especially those who left Indochina by sea as a result of the fall of South Vietnam in 1975.
Origin of boat people
1975-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for boat-people
Historical Examples
  • I'll hide about, and mayhap somehow I might get a chance among the boat-people.

    "Us" Mary Louisa S. Molesworth
  • Though the boat-people were still too far off to distinguish figures, a signal might catch their eye.

    The Settlers at Home Harriet Martineau
  • There exist particular works concerning the history, the customs and laws of these boat-people.

  • At sundown the boat-people anchor their craft in rows to stakes, thus forming boat-terraces as it were.

    Man on the Ocean R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for boat-people

boat people

plural noun
refugees, esp from Vietnam in the late 1970s, who leave by boat hoping to be picked up by ships of another country
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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Slang definitions & phrases for boat-people

boat people

noun phrase

Political refugees who escape by small boat (mid-1970s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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