- Nautical. a distinctively shaped and marked float, sometimes carrying a signal or signals, anchored to mark a channel, anchorage, navigational hazard, etc., or to provide a mooring place away from the shore.
- a life buoy.
- to keep afloat or support by or as if by a life buoy; keep from sinking (often followed by up): The life jacket buoyed her up until help arrived.
- Nautical. to mark with a buoy or buoys.
- to sustain or encourage (often followed by up): Her courage was buoyed by the doctor's assurances.
- to float or rise by reason of lightness.
Origin of buoy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for buoy
And he will buoy hopes among Democrats that Virginia is reliably purple, if not blue, in the 2016 presidential election.How Virginia Democrats Are Winning on Gun Safety
October 30, 2013
They gave me a jolt of encouragement that is going to buoy me for the rest of my writing life.Karen Russell: How I Write
February 6, 2013
I suspect this will buoy liberal spirits, but anger the right and befuddle the independents.
He tried to outsmart the instructors by resting the back of his head on a buoy in the pool.Inside Seal Team Six by Don Mann Excerpt
December 4, 2011
When Joe steered them into a buoy and all seemed lost, Kennedy inspired him to keep going and eventually win the race.10 Touching Tributes from the Kennedy Services
The Daily Beast Video
August 29, 2009
"Something like that," agreed Madden, tossing his buoy into the water.The Cruise of the Dry Dock
T. S. Stribling
That was the only time we've used the buoy sence I've been at the station.Cap'n Eri
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
But I'll have a sharp look out after the 'buoy,' and he'll do well, you'll see.Luttrell Of Arran
Charles James Lever
Then we rowed to a third buoy belonging to us and began hauling.The Land of the Long Night
Paul du Chaillu
If you see anything like a buoy, stop and back her as quick as you can.Up the River
- a distinctively shaped and coloured float, anchored to the bottom, for designating moorings, navigable channels, or obstructions in a body of waterSee also life buoy
- (tr usually foll by up) to prevent from sinkingthe belt buoyed him up
- (tr usually foll by up) to raise the spirits of; hearten
- (tr) nautical to mark (a channel or obstruction) with a buoy or buoys
- (intr) to rise to the surface
Word Origin and History for buoy
late 16c., "to mark with a buoy," from buoy (n.). Meaning "rise up, lift, sustain" is from c.1600, perhaps influenced by Spanish boyar "to float," ultimately from the same source. In the figurative sense (of hopes, spirits, etc.) it is recorded from 1640s. Related: Buoyed; buoying.