1 [pon-toon]
Military. a boat or some other floating structure used as one of the supports for a temporary bridge over a river.
a float for a derrick, landing stage, etc.
Nautical. a float for raising a sunken or deeply laden vessel in the water; a camel or caisson.
a seaplane float.
Also, ponton [pon-tn] .

1585–95; < French ponton < Latin pontōn- (stem of pontō) flat-bottomed boat, punt

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World English Dictionary
pontoon1 (pɒnˈtuːn)
1.  a.  a watertight float or vessel used where buoyancy is required in water, as in supporting a bridge, in salvage work, or where a temporary or mobile structure is required in military operations
 b.  (as modifier): a pontoon bridge
2.  nautical a float, often inflatable, for raising a vessel in the water
[C17: from French ponton, from Latin pontō punt, floating bridge, from pōns bridge]

pontoon2 (pɒnˈtuːn)
1.  twenty-one, Also called: vingt-et-un a gambling game in which players try to obtain card combinations worth 21 points
2.  (in this game) the combination of an ace with a ten or court card when dealt to a player as his first two cards
[C20: probably an alteration of French vingt-et-un, literally: twenty-one]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1676, from Fr. pontoon, from M.Fr. ponton, from L. pontonem (nom. ponto) "flat-bottomed boat," from pons "bridge." Pontoon bridge is first recorded 1778.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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