Definition of afloat in English:


Line breaks: afloat
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.

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