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jolly boat

a light boat carried at the stern of a sailing vessel.
a small pleasure sailboat for use in sheltered waters.
Origin of jolly boat
1720-30; jolly < Danish jolle yawl1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for jolly-boat
Historical Examples
  • In comparison to the latter she seemed like a ship's jolly-boat.

    Perseverance Island Douglas Frazar
  • An old term for a captain's boat, the original of jolly-boat.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • They looked down the creek and saw the jolly-boat approaching.

    No Moss Harry Castlemon
  • Of those who entered the jolly-boat of the Swordfish, only five reached the land.

    Saved by the Lifeboat R.M. Ballantyne
  • Loose ordered the jolly-boat to be hove overboard, and we put tackles over the long-boat to save ourselves.

  • The ship was hove-to, and the pinnace and jolly-boat were sent on shore with casks.

    Tales of the Sea W.H.G. Kingston
  • Waiting was a strain; and it was decided that Hunter and I should go ashore with the jolly-boat, in quest of information.

    The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis Stevenson
  • We had three boats—the long-boat, the jolly-boat, and a skiff.

    Mark Seaworth William H.G. Kingston
  • Sentry, send the officer on deck to man the jolly-boat, and tell Mr Dott to come here immediately.

    Percival Keene Frederick Marryat
  • The captain made a sign, and the jolly-boat entered the channel.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for jolly-boat

jolly boat

a small boat used as a utility tender for a vessel
a small sailing boat used for pleasure
Word Origin
C18: jolly probably from Danish jolleyawl1
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 jolly-boat

jolly boat


1727, of unknown origin, probably from Danish jolle (17c.) or Dutch jol (1680s), both related to yawl; or it may be from Middle English jolywat (late 15c.) "a ship's small boat," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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