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[kat-uh-muh-ran] /ˌkæt ə məˈræn/
a vessel, usually propelled by sail, formed of two hulls or floats held side by side by a frame above them.
Compare trimaran.
a float or sailing raft formed of a number of logs lashed together, used in certain parts of India, South America, etc.
a quarrelsome person, especially a woman.
Canadian Dialect. a wooden sled.
Origin of catamaran
1690-1700; < Tamil kaṭṭa-maram tied wood Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for catamaran
Historical Examples
  • He might draw the line at a white plesiosaur riding up to meet his catamaran.

    Sjambak John Holbrook Vance
  • She was a "twin boat:" that is, she had two hulls, like a "catamaran."

    Down South Oliver Optic
  • As the catamaran ran in and grounded on the beach, Flora came down to meet him.

    Dick Leslie's Luck Harry Collingwood
  • By noon of the second day the catamaran was completed,—so far as the hull was concerned.

    The Ocean Waifs Mayne Reid
  • He therefore at once hauled his wind, and, with the captured canoe in tow, headed the catamaran on her homeward journey.

    Dick Leslie's Luck Harry Collingwood
  • But neither of these could be near the track on which the catamaran was holding her course.

    The Ocean Waifs Mayne Reid
  • And there we found a catamaran, a real catamaran, one evidently made by some Fire-Man.

    Before Adam Jack London
  • Fortunately for the crew of the catamaran, it did not become a storm.

    The Ocean Waifs Mayne Reid
  • Well, with a few changes your ice-boat is to become a catamaran.

  • They were evidently in chase of him, with as much eagerness as he was in chase of the catamaran.

    The Ocean Waifs Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for catamaran


a sailing, or sometimes motored, vessel with twin hulls held parallel by a rigid framework
a primitive raft made of logs lashed together
(old-fashioned) a quarrelsome woman
Word Origin
C17: from Tamil kattumaram tied timber
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 catamaran

East Indies log raft, 1670s, from Tamil kattu-maram "tied wood," from kattu "tie, binding" + maram "wood, tree."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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