A small boat of a kind used in East Asia, typically with an oar or oars at the stern.
More 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'.
Definition of sampan in:
- The US English dictionary