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[kahy-ak] /ˈkaɪ æk/
an Eskimo canoe with a skin cover on a light framework, made watertight by flexible closure around the waist of the occupant and propelled with a double-bladed paddle.
a small boat resembling this, made commercially of a variety of materials and used in sports.
verb (used without object)
to go or travel by kayak.
verb (used with object)
to travel on by kayak:
to kayak the Colorado River.
Also, kaiak, kyack, kyak.
Origin of kayak
1750-60; < Inuit qayaq
Related forms
kayaker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for kayak
  • Bright colors for others to see you on your kayak or standing in a stream.
  • One of the best ways to explore the island is from the water, and an inexpensive way to do that is to rent a kayak.
  • Sea kayak the fjords alongside orcas and leopard seals.
  • Watch for bottlenose dolphins while you sea kayak the salt marshes.
  • The boat is a multisport launchpad, so you can kayak or run skiffs to shore to track bears.
  • Learn more about their kayak adventure and the film they made about it.
  • Back on the beach, meanwhile, the actors played adults waiting for the kids to be done with their kayak adventure.
  • Hike, snorkel, and kayak with extraordinary wildlife.
  • The family crossed the pond in a rowboat and a kayak to an island where they had picnics.
  • Then, to learn their movement patterns, he paddled after them in his hydrophone-equipped kayak.
British Dictionary definitions for kayak


a small light canoe-like boat used by the Inuit, consisting of a light frame covered with watertight animal skins
a fibreglass or canvas-covered canoe of similar design
Word Origin
C18: from Inuktitut (Greenland dialect)
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 kayak

1757, from Danish kajak, from Greenland Eskimo qayaq, literally "small boat of skins." The verb is attested from 1875, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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