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[proh-uh] /ˈproʊ ə/
any of various types of Indonesian boats, especially a swift Malay sailing boat built with the lee side flat and balanced by a single outrigger.
Also, prao, prau, prahu.
Origin of proa
1575-85; < Malay pərahu, pərau (spelling perahu) (< Kannada paḍahu, or a cognate Dravidian word); probably influenced by Spanish or Portuguese proa prow1, bow Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for proa
Historical Examples
  • In this state the ship passed ahead, all her canvas being full, leaving the proa motionless in her wake.

  • The poor man had been almost out of his mind with fright since he had seen the proa.

    Godfrey Morgan Jules Verne
  • The proa had entered the quiet waters within, and was coming to rest as gracefully as a sea gull stops in its flight.

    Adrift on the Pacific Edward S. Ellis
  • When sufficiently dried, it is stowed away in the hold of the proa.

    The Ocean World: Louis Figuier
  • But they declined doing this, and he afterwards acknowledged that a proa could go there in two days.

  • Cries from the proa and the war-canoes echoed across the waters.

    Cursed George Allan England
  • He was determined to ascertain, yes or no, if the proa had definitely left the island.

    Godfrey Morgan Jules Verne
  • In the proa, oily brown devils were laboring to reload the brass cannon.

    Cursed George Allan England
  • I recognized the captain of the proa among those who had previously visited me.

    The Ocean World: Louis Figuier
  • As his vigor returned he swam the lagoon or helped Karaki at the proa.

British Dictionary definitions for proa


any of several kinds of canoe-like boats used in the South Pacific, esp one equipped with an outrigger and sails
Word Origin
C16: from Malay parāhū a boat
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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