Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[gon-dl-uh or especially for 1, gon-doh-luh] /ˈgɒn dl ə or especially for 1, gɒnˈdoʊ lə/
a long, narrow, flat-bottomed boat having a tall, ornamental stem and stern and sometimes a small cabin for passengers, rowed or poled by a single person who stands at the stern, facing forward: used especially on the canals of Venice, Italy.
a passenger compartment suspended beneath a balloon or airship.
Compare car1 (def 4).
an enclosed cabin suspended from an overhead cable, used to transport passengers up and down a ski slope or over scenic or treacherous terrain.
Also called gondola car. an open railroad freight car with low sides, for transporting bulk freight and manufactured goods.
a truck whose bed or trailer is a hopper, as for transporting mixed cement.
a freestanding structure for displaying merchandise in a retail establishment, as a supermarket.
a chair or couch having a gondola back.
Origin of gondola
1540-50; < Italian < Venetian, probably < Medieval Greek kontoúra small boat used in coastal navigation, noun use of feminine of kóntouros short, clipped, literally, dock-tailed, equivalent to Late Greek kont(ós), kond(ós) short + Greek -ouros -tailed, adj. derivative of ourá tail Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for gondola
Historical Examples
  • You arrive at a large terminal station, and step into the gondola which is to take you into Venice.

    Venice Dorothy Menpes
  • She gave it with the prettiest gesture, leaning from her gondola to his as they parted.

    His Own People Booth Tarkington
  • Mr. Pinckney frowned, for no gondola was near, but after a few minutes up came two.

    The Four Corners Abroad Amy Ella Blanchard
  • He has an old tub of a gondola and he paddles about in it all day long and is content as the king.

    A Venetian June Anna Fuller
  • After having placed it upon the brink of the gondola, I tried to frighten it to make it take to flight.

    Wonderful Balloon Ascents Fulgence Marion
  • Si, Signore, benissimo; and yet he loves the gondola and the old life.

    A Venetian June Anna Fuller
  • Late in the afternoon, Francis embarked in his gondola, and in an hour and a half landed at Pelestrina.

  • They were just passing the Palazzo Darino, where a gondola lurked in the shadow.

    A Venetian June Anna Fuller
  • The Texan gave a great thrust with the oar, pushing the gondola away.

    Dick Merriwell Abroad Burt L. Standish
  • The other gondola had fallen back a few lengths, as was apt to be the case.

    A Venetian June Anna Fuller
British Dictionary definitions for gondola


a long narrow flat-bottomed boat with a high ornamented stem and a platform at the stern where an oarsman stands and propels the boat by sculling or punting: traditionally used on the canals of Venice
  1. a car or cabin suspended from an airship or balloon
  2. a moving cabin suspended from a cable across a valley, etc
a flat-bottomed barge used on canals and rivers of the US as far west as the Mississippi
(US & Canadian) a low open flat-bottomed railway goods wagon
a set of island shelves in a self-service shop: used for displaying goods
(Canadian) a broadcasting booth built close to the roof over an ice-hockey arena, used by commentators
Word Origin
C16: from Italian (Venetian dialect), from Medieval Latin gondula, perhaps ultimately from Greek kondu drinking vessel
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for gondola

1540s, from Italian (Venetian) gondola, earlier in English as goundel, from Old Italian gondula, of unknown origin; perhaps from Rhaeto-Romanic dialectal gondola "roll, rock," or perhaps a diminutive of gonda, name of a kind of boat. Meaning "cabin of an airship" is 1896, though it was used hypothetically in 1881 in a prediction piece titled "300 Years Hence":

You step into an aerial gondola ... and are at once borne upwards.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for gondola

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for gondola

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for gondola