Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.

boat people

plural noun
refugees who have fled a country by boat, usually without sufficient provisions, navigational aids, or a set destination, especially those who left Indochina by sea as a result of the fall of South Vietnam in 1975.
Origin of boat people
First recorded in 1975-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for boat people
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yes; the boat people showed it me, then I fainted from relief that it was not my husband.

    '19,000' Burford Delannoy
  • He checked the evidence of the boat people as it had appeared in the papers by what they said now.

    '19,000' Burford Delannoy
  • And he sent in the same way to all the boat people down by the shore.

  • Their Missionary was then called upon, and the boat people received him with a demonstration of delight.

    The Man with the Book John Matthias Weylland
  • The boat people can have everything they require without going on shore at all.

    Peeps Into China E. C. Phillips
  • I wanted air and quiet, but the desire of my boat people was set on a chance to go a-marketing or to do a little visiting.

    A Wayfarer in China Elizabeth Kendall
  • These Chinese boat people are perhaps unequalled by any others in the world.

British Dictionary definitions for boat people

boat people

plural noun
refugees, esp from Vietnam in the late 1970s, who leave by boat hoping to be picked up by ships of another country
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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for boat people

boat people

noun phrase

Political refugees who escape by small boat (mid-1970s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for boat people

Word Value for boat

Scrabble Words With Friends