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[skoo-buh] /ˈsku bə/
a portable breathing device for free-swimming divers, consisting of a mouthpiece joined by hoses to one or two tanks of compressed air that are strapped on the back.
verb (used without object), scubaed, scubaing.
Origin of scuba
1950-55; s(elf)-c(ontained) u(nderwater) b(reathing) a(pparatus) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scuba
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Scotty and I will suit up, so our skins won't show at night, and have our scuba equipment on.

    The Flying Stingaree Harold Leland Goodwin
  • The boys hurried to the room where the scuba equipment was kept.

  • The girls had brought their own scuba equipment in the luggage compartment of Hartson Brant's car.

    The Flying Stingaree Harold Leland Goodwin
  • When he's wearing his scuba apparatus, he's practically a self-contained submarine.

    Anything You Can Do Gordon Randall Garrett
  • The speedboat was there, and so was the scuba cart, but the rowboat wasn't.

British Dictionary definitions for scuba


  1. an apparatus used in skindiving, consisting of a cylinder or cylinders containing compressed air attached to a breathing apparatus
  2. (as modifier): scuba diving
Word Origin
C20: from the initials of self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
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 scuba

1952, acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for scuba


self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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