Share this entry

boat people Syllabification: boat peo·ple

Definition of boat people in English:

plural noun

Refugees who have left a country by sea, in particular the Vietnamese who fled in small boats to Hong Kong, Australia, and elsewhere after the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam in 1975.
Example sentences
  • It was reported recently that a number of violent criminals paid big money to join the Vietnamese boat people to come to Australia.
  • Except for a small community of former boat people, Vietnam has no supportive overseas ethnic connection.
  • Like North Sea oil, Vietnamese boat people, German wine and inflation - it was everywhere at the time.

Definition of boat people in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈwɪpəsnapə
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...