Definition of afloat in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈfləʊt/

adjective& adverb

1Floating in water; not sinking: [as adverb]: they trod water to keep afloat [as predicative adjective]: the canoes were still afloat
More example sentences
  • As the badly injured seaman struggled to stay afloat in the freezing water - he was not wearing a lifejacket - crewmen from his ship threw lifebuoys.
  • Knowing the risks is important and will likely keep you afloat regardless of the water conditions.
  • In the process, he found it easy to keep himself afloat in the water for minutes together.
1.1On board a ship or boat: [as predicative adjective]: he hopes to find a second-hand craft and be afloat by the end of the month
More example sentences
  • We're already afloat, therefore our boats must be functional.
  • The crews are trained to undertake tows of crippled boats, extinguish fires afloat and provide first aid.
  • For many British boat anglers, there is no greater thrill than to go afloat on their own boats.
2Out of debt or difficulty: [as adverb]: professional management will be needed to keep firms afloat
More example sentences
  • But, when it came to our showing in the League, we could consider our seventh place to their fifth a great achievement in light of our difficulties merely keeping afloat.
  • In the five years since the financial crisis struck, the country is still struggling to stay afloat as debt payment remains the biggest drag on its economy.
  • It's only the willingness of the foreign central banks to buy our debt that keeps us afloat.
2.1In general circulation; current: [as adverb]: there are various rumours afloat connected with his disappearance
More example sentences
  • There were new evangelical currents afloat, especially the tracts the Fundamentals that gave the literalist movement its name.
  • There are rumours afloat that a major musical act will be playing this time next year.
  • There are rumours afloat that an election might happen in the spring.


Old English on flote (see a-2, float), influenced in Middle English by Old Norse á flot(i) and Old French en flot.

Words that rhyme with afloat

bloat, boat, capote, coat, connote, cote, dote, emote, float, gloat, goat, groat, misquote, moat, mote, note, oat, outvote, promote, quote, rote, shoat, smote, stoat, Succoth, table d'hôte, Terre Haute, throat, tote, vote, wrote

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: afloat

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