Definition of boat in English:

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Pronunciation: /bəʊt/


1A small vessel for travelling over water, propelled by oars, sails, or an engine: a fishing boat [as modifier]: a boat trip
More example sentences
  • This in turn causes surrounding air to rush into the sail and propel the boat further.
  • Fu told Baja, as well as reporters, that the fishermen strayed into Philippine waters after their boat engine malfunctioned.
  • He and many others landed jobs on in-shore mackerel boats, fishing tamer waters around the isle.
vessel, craft, watercraft, ship
literary keel, barque
1.1A vessel of any size, especially a large one: those newly arriving here by boat or plane
More example sentences
  • The fleet consisted of one large fish carrier, a medium purse-seine fishing vessel, three medium sized boats and four ocean going outriggers.
  • Whether you arrive in a boat, a plane, or a cruise ship, you owe it to yourself to take a tour.
  • How many would actually wear a life jacket if it were required at all times on all sizes of boats is a big unknown.
2A serving dish in the shape of a boat: a gravy boat
More example sentences
  • Graceful gravy boats in two sizes serve the whole crowd or provide individual service of gravy, cheese sauce, hot fudge and more.
  • This week everyone gets a free Gravy Boat and after a few shipping problems everyone ends up with a dozen gravy boats after weeks of promises by the manager to set things straight.


[no object]
1Travel in a boat for pleasure: they boated through fjords
More example sentences
  • My children sit in large basins to go boating in the little pond,’ she said laughing.
  • Our family suddenly decided that we should go boating.
  • She also could no longer ride her horse or go boating or camping (which she had previously loved to do).
sail, yacht, go sailing, cruise, travel by boat
1.1 [with object and adverbial of direction] Transport (someone or something) in a boat: they boated the timber down the lake
More example sentences
  • So many estate agents have boated me around Venice, for instance, that I reckon I now know the Serenissima's darkest alleys better than the little red dwarf in Don't Look Now.
  • They're finding ways to boat them out of the school through boats up onto the bridge but much of the city of course is still under very high levels of water.
1.2 [with object] (Of an angler) draw (a hooked fish) into a boat: he boated a 2 lb 14oz Dover sole
More example sentences
  • We moved a lot of fish in the first hour but only one was boated.
  • On the second troll through I latched into a good fish and after a spirited fight we boated my first decent size Nile perch.
  • Ravensthorpe regular John Caldwell and his boat partner Digby Lewis enjoyed an exciting session boating 20 fish between them.



be in the same boat

informal Be in the same difficult circumstances as others: do not despair: you are one of millions in the same boat
More example sentences
  • I have had friends who have had difficulties and there are so many people in the same boat.
  • If you're in the same boat, at least know you're not the only one.
  • We are all in the same boat: we both win and we both lose.

off the boat

offensive Recently arrived from a foreign country, and by implication naive or an outsider: what are you, fresh off the boat?

push the boat out

British informal Be lavish in one’s spending or celebrations: from fine wines to the delights of the theatre, this is your chance to push the boat out
More example sentences
  • So there was much to celebrate last night as the airport pushed the boat out on a party which was called Over the Moon.
  • SEA cadets in Wootton Bassett will really be pushing the boat out next month to celebrate their silver jubilee.
  • We are really pushing the boat out for having a library that's going to be proactive.
be extravagant, go on a spending spree, splash out, splurge, spare no expense, spend lavishly, spend a lot of money
informal lash out, go mad, go on a shopping binge, indulge in some retail therapy

rock the boat

informal Say or do something to disturb an existing situation and upset people: I don’t want to rock the boat
More example sentences
  • It is obviously easier to move one person, who is not going to rock the boat, than two, who have rocked the boat, and have got off a discipline proceedings.
  • They are upset that anyone is now rocking the boat and might endanger their hopes to become enriched.
  • They feel compelled to be careful about what they say so as not to upset the people around them or rock the boat.



Pronunciation: /ˈbəʊtfʊl/
noun (plural boatfuls)
Example sentences
  • The mutual curiosity that exists between an adolescent right whale and a boatful of human observers makes whale-watching an activity of an entirely different nature than, say, bird-watching - or even people-watching.
  • I don't consider it very responsible letting a boatful of inexperienced divers, many of them having completed fewer than 10 dives, loose on a wreck in 30m-plus with a screaming surface current.
  • There's no need to board the boat armed with enormous flight cases full of equipment, only to have to assemble and dismantle it all on what could be a boatful of divers of no fixed experience.


Old English bāt, of Germanic origin.

Words that rhyme with boat

afloat, bloat, 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: boat

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