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[flat-boht] /ˈflætˌboʊt/
a large, flat-bottomed boat for use in shallow water, especially on rivers.
Origin of flatboat
First recorded in 1650-60; flat1 + boat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for flatboat
Historical Examples
  • The launching of that flatboat was made a feast-day in the neighborhood.

  • Yet the steamboat did not drive the flatboat from the Western rivers.

    Union and Democracy

    Allen Johnson
  • Did you meet a flatboat floating down the river about an hour ago?

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • This was the establishing of steamboat and flatboat communication with New Orleans.


    Marie D. Webster
  • They had found the negro's flatboat, and carried it to the stream.

  • "Here is a flatboat," said Ben, who was the first to discover it.

  • You wasn't at the block-house, Dan'l, when the flatboat stopped there?

    The Phantom of the River Edward S. Ellis
  • Because they are scared, as all of you were by the flatboat and its sail.

    The Phantom of the River Edward S. Ellis
  • The one point was to get the flatboat away from land, and out into the stream.

    The Phantom of the River Edward S. Ellis
  • The long knives had angry words with the men who would pole the flatboat.

    Shaman Robert Shea
British Dictionary definitions for flatboat


any boat with a flat bottom, usually for transporting goods on a canal or river
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 flatboat

1650s, from flat (adj.) + boat (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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