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boat people Syllabification: boat peo·ple
Pronunciation: /ˈbōt ˌpēpəl/

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:
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