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[ba-toh; French ba-toh] /bæˈtoʊ; French baˈtoʊ/
noun, plural bateaux
[ba-tohz; French ba-toh] /bæˈtoʊz; French baˈtoʊ/ (Show IPA)
Also, batteau. Nautical.
  1. Chiefly Canadian and Southern U.S.. a small, flat-bottomed rowboat used on rivers.
  2. a half-decked, sloop-rigged boat used for fishing on Chesapeake Bay; skipjack.
  3. (in some regions) a scow.
a pontoon of a floating bridge.
Origin of bateau
1705-15, Americanism; < French; Old French batel, equivalent to bat (< Old English bāt boat) + -el diminutive suffix < Latin -ellus; see -elle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bateau
Historical Examples
  • When he reached the far shore he jumped into a bateau that was pulled up there.

  • Craig leaped from the bow of the bateau and waded for the last few yards.

  • As the bateau proceeded, Fanny became more skilful in its management.

    Hope and Have Oliver Optic
  • They stopped on the bank of the river, where the bateau lay.

    Hope and Have Oliver Optic
  • Two of our boats were bateau, and the other was Mr. Gracewood's barge.

    Field and Forest Oliver Optic
  • The modern 'bateau' is to be found only among keeled sailing craft.

    All Afloat

    William Wood
  • The Durham was larger than the bateau; long, light, and shallow.

    All Afloat

    William Wood
  • Observing that the bateau was afloat, Mandy Ann was delighted.

    The Backwoodsmen Charles G. D. Roberts
  • Not until he was nearly on top of the bateau did Auguste see it.

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • The next instant she struck the bateau full on the broadside.

    Watch and Wait Oliver Optic
British Dictionary definitions for bateau


/bæˈtəʊ; French bato/
noun (pl) -teaux (-təʊz; French) (-to)
a light flat-bottomed boat used on rivers in Canada and the northern US
Word Origin
C18: from French: boat, from Old French batel, from Old English bāt; see boat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bateau

French-Canadian river boat, 1711, from French bateau, from Old French batel, from Germanic (see boat (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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