Translation of float in Spanish:


Pronunciation: /fləʊt/

intransitive verb/verbo intransitivo

  • 1 1.1 (on water) flotar oil floats on water el aceite flota en el agua debris had floated up (to the surface) from the wreck habían salido a flote restos del naufragio the logs floated downstream los maderos bajaban flotando por el río he taught me to float (on my back) me enseñó a hacer la plancha the canoe floated away on the tide la marea se llevó la canoa
    More example sentences
    • After floating near the surface for a few days, the raft sinks to the sea floor and the eggs hatch far away from their parents.
    • In nature, mussels start life as microscopic larvae floating near the surface of the sea.
    • The weed does not stick to the bottom; it floats on the surface and moves with the direction of the wind.
    1.2 [cloud/smoke] flotar en el aire a feather floated past on the breeze una pluma pasó flotando en la brisa
    More example sentences
    • Usually it was the clouds floating slowly past the window that would catch my eye.
    • She watched as the white clouds slowly floated by in the sky and gave a sigh.
    • David ignored him and busied himself with the clouds floating slowly by.
    1.3 (move lightly) [idea/image] vagar* I felt I was floating on air me sentí en el séptimo cielo or (como flotando) en las nubes

transitive verb/verbo transitivo

  • 1 1.1 [ship/boat] poner* or sacar* a flote 1.2 [raft/logs] llevar, arrastrar the waves floated the seaweed ashore las olas llevaron or arrastraron las algas hasta la orilla
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    • Topping up casks of wine is essential in order to stop the wine turning into vinegar; alternatively, a layer of olive oil can be floated on the surface of the wine.
    • The metal's surface tension is great enough to permit a steel needle to be floated on its surface.
    • This introduces a lot of fine air bubbles into the effluent, floating the algal matter to the surface to be skimmed off.
  • 2 [Finance] 2.1 (establish) to float a company introducir* una compañía en Bolsa, lanzar* una compañía a Bolsa a week after the company had been floated … una semana después de que la compañía se cotizara por primera vez en bolsa …, una semana después de que la compañía fuera lanzada a bolsa … 2.2 (offer for sale) [shares/stock/bonds] emitir
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    • He will need to muster all his not inconsiderable sales skills to help float the company at a time when stock markets are in the doldrums.
    • The company was floated on the Nasdaq stock market in November 1997.
    • A central part of the reform process was to privatize many of the nationalized industries through floating the companies on the stock market.
    2.3 (allow to fluctuate) [currency] dejar flotar
    More example sentences
    • It's not even clear if floating China's currency would result in a stronger yuan.
    • Indeed, if the currency were floated, it might well decline as Chinese convert their domestic currency holdings into dollars.
    • Uruguay floated its currency late last month following a run on banks and a plunge in foreign reserves.
  • 3 (circulate) [rumor] hacer* correr; [idea/proposal] presentar a figure of $3m was floated se sugirió una cifra de 3 millones de dólares
    More example sentences
    • A similar idea was floated in March this year by Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead following an energy summit held in the city last year.
    • He floated the idea of raising the amount of money taxpayers must earn before they're subjected to the top marginal tax rate.
    • The BBC report is amusing, because it floats the idea that maybe people should be charged for the bandwidth they use - hey, maybe metered internet time could be the future?
    More example sentences
    • A rumor is floating about that the businessman is getting ready to waste millions again in a futile attempt to become governor, but that's relevant only to the coyotes who will take his money.
    • ‘It is an idea that is floating about at the moment, but I wouldn't put it any stronger than that,’ he added.
    • A couple of hot rumors have been floating about involving Golden State.


  • 3 (ready cash) caja (feminine) chica; [Business/Comercio] [Finance] fondo (masculine) fijo (to provide change) a float of £20 20 libras en cambio or en monedas
  • 4 (American English/inglés norteamericano) [ refresco o batido con helado ]

Phrasal verbs

float around

(especially British English/especialmente inglés británico) float about verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio
have you seen my keys? they must be floating around somewhere ¿has visto mis llaves? deben andar por ahí there's a rumor floating around that … corre la voz de que …

Definition of float in:

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Cultural fact of the day

In Central America and Mexico, the word 'botana' means a small portion of food, olives, peanuts etc, usually served with a drink at parties, bars, or social occasions.