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[flat-boht] /ˈflætˌboʊt/
a large, flat-bottomed boat for use in shallow water, especially on rivers.
Origin of flatboat
1650-60; flat1 + boat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for flatboat
Historical Examples
  • The stage was no sooner set than up the river came the flatboat from Creek House.

    Smugglers' Reef John Blaine
  • Did you meet a flatboat floating down the river about an hour ago?

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • From Pittsburg they floated down the Ohio in a flatboat in company with several other young emigrant families.

    John James Audubon John Burroughs
  • This was the establishing of steamboat and flatboat communication with New Orleans.

    Quilts Marie D. Webster
  • I would not put it past them to descend the Ohio in a flatboat, till they come here.

  • "Here is a flatboat," said Ben, who was the first to discover it.

  • It was blowing not so strongly as before, but with sufficient power to start the flatboat slowly up stream.

    The Phantom of the River Edward S. Ellis
  • The launching of that flatboat was made a feast-day in the neighborhood.

  • Suddenly two men with guns came out of the woods, but at the sight of the flatboat stood petrified.

    Strange True Stories of Louisiana George Washington Cable
  • Yet the steamboat did not drive the flatboat from the Western rivers.

    Union and Democracy Allen Johnson
British Dictionary definitions for flatboat


any boat with a flat bottom, usually for transporting goods on a canal or river
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 flatboat

1650s, from flat (adj.) + boat (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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