Definition of sampan in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsampan/


Image of sampan
A small boat of a kind used in East Asia, typically with an oar or oars at the stern.
Example sentences
  • My father was a sailor and we lived in a sampan, a house boat.
  • Transportation available is taxis, buses, car rental, express boats and long boats or sampans.
  • Cargo ships still to this day jostle with rice barges and fragile sampans (an Oriental boat propelled by a sail or oars), whilst porters sweat in the humidity loading the boats.


Early 17th century: from Chinese san-ban, from san 'three' + ban 'board'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: sam¦pan

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