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floe

[floh] /floʊ/
noun
1.
Also called ice floe. a sheet of floating ice, chiefly on the surface of the sea, smaller than an ice field.
2.
a detached floating portion of such a sheet.
Origin of floe
1810-1820
1810-20; perhaps < Norwegian flo layer (compare Old Norse flō layer, level); cognate with Old English flōh piece, flagstone; cf. flaw1
Can be confused
floe, flow (see synonym study at flow)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for floe
Historical Examples
  • Suddenly the floe on the port side cracked and huge pieces of ice shot up from under the port bilge.

    South! Sir Ernest Shackleton
  • We towed the carcass up to the edge of the floe, and pulled it up.

    Left on Labrador Charles Asbury Stephens
  • He becomes aware of a new and strange motion in the floe beneath him.

    Fridtjof Nansen Jacob B. Bull
  • She must have been caught in the floe before she could make her way into harbour for shelter.

    Archibald Hughson W.H.G. Kingston
  • They's whale t'other side o' this floe and we're agoin' to git 'em.

  • To get through this floe, it was necessary to form a channel with the ice-saws.

    Notable Voyagers W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith
  • He conjectured that they must have drifted on a floe right across the Polar Sea.

    Farthest North Fridtjof Nansen
  • The whale was killed, and made fast to the floe, waiting for the return of the ship.

    Peter the Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • With the fall of the first flakes the harbour fleet came pell-mell from the floe.

  • No open reference was made to the desertion of Lund on the floe.

    A Man to His Mate J. Allan Dunn
British Dictionary definitions for floe

floe

/fləʊ/
noun
1.
See ice floe
Word Origin
C19: probably from Norwegian flo slab, layer, from Old Norse; see flaw1
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 floe
n.

1817, first used by Arctic explorers, probably from Norwegian flo "layer, slab," from Old Norse flo, related to first element in flagstone (q.v.). Earlier explorers used flake.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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floe in Science
floe
  (flō)   
A mass or sheet of floating ice.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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7
8
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