an act or state of floating.
the launching of a commercial venture, bond issue, loan, etc.
Metallurgy. a process for separating the different minerals in a mass of powdered ore based on their tendency to sink in, or float on, a given liquid.
the science of floating bodies.
Also, floatation.

1800–10; float + -ation; compare French flottaison (see flotsam)

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World English Dictionary
flotation or floatation (fləʊˈteɪʃən)
1.  a.  the launching or financing of a commercial enterprise by bond or share issues
 b.  the raising of a loan or new capital by bond or share issues
2.  power or ability to float; buoyancy
3.  Also called: froth flotation a process to concentrate the valuable ore in low-grade ores. The ore is ground to a powder, mixed with water containing surface-active chemicals, and vigorously aerated. The bubbles formed trap the required ore fragments and carry them to the surface froth, which is then skimmed off
floatation or floatation

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1850s, from float + -ation. Spelling influenced by French (cf. floatation).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

flotation flo·ta·tion (flō-tā'shən)
The process of separating different materials, especially minerals, by agitating a pulverized mixture of the materials with water, oil, and chemicals. Differential wetting of the suspended particles causes unwetted particles to be carried by air bubbles to the surface for collection.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Machines grind the plastics into flakes and immerse them in a flotation tank to
  remove contaminants.
We recommend using a personal flotation device while boating.
We backstroke across these ponds, using the dry bags in our backpacks for
The workers are performing flotation, which isn't as refreshing as it sounds.
Images for flotation
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