buoy up

buoy

[boo-ee, boi]
noun
1.
Nautical. a distinctively shaped and marked float, sometimes carrying a signal or signals, anchored to mark a channel, anchorage, navigational hazard, etc., or to provide a mooring place away from the shore.
2.
verb (used with object)
3.
to keep afloat or support by or as if by a life buoy; keep from sinking (often followed by up ): The life jacket buoyed her up until help arrived.
4.
Nautical. to mark with a buoy or buoys.
5.
to sustain or encourage (often followed by up ): Her courage was buoyed by the doctor's assurances.
verb (used without object)
6.
to float or rise by reason of lightness.

Origin:
1425–75; late Middle English boye a float < Middle French *boie, boue(e) < Germanic; akin to beacon

unbuoyed, adjective

boy, buoy.


5. lift, uplift, boost, lighten; maintain, nurture.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
buoy (bɔɪ, US ˈbuːɪ)
 
n
1.  See also life buoy a distinctively shaped and coloured float, anchored to the bottom, for designating moorings, navigable channels, or obstructions in a body of water
 
vb (usually foll by up) (usually foll by up)
2.  to prevent from sinking: the belt buoyed him up
3.  to raise the spirits of; hearten
4.  (tr) nautical to mark (a channel or obstruction) with a buoy or buoys
5.  (intr) to rise to the surface
 
[C13: probably of Germanic origin; compare Middle Dutch boeie, boeye; see beacon]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

buoy
late 13c., perhaps from either O.Fr. buie or M.Du. boeye, both from W.Gmc. *baukn "beacon" (cf. O.H.G. bouhhan, O.Fris. baken). OED, however, supports M.Du. boeie, or O.Fr. boie "fetter, chain" (see boy), "because of its being fettered to a spot." The verb meaning "to mark with
a buoy" is from late 16c., from the noun; in the figurative sense (of spirits, etc.) it is recorded from 1640s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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