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2017 Word of the Year

floe

[floh] /floʊ/
noun
1.
Also called ice floe. a sheet of floating ice, chiefly on the surface of the sea, smaller than an ice field.
2.
a detached floating portion of such a sheet.
Origin of floe
1810-1820
1810-20; perhaps < Norwegian flo layer (compare Old Norse flō layer, level); cognate with Old English flōh piece, flagstone; cf. flaw1
Can be confused
floe, flow (see synonym study at flow)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for floe
Historical Examples
  • About seven o'clock we heard a splashing out along the floe.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • "Be ready, now," said Kit; when some one of the party on the floe fired on a sudden.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • We towed the carcass up to the edge of the floe, and pulled it up.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • She must have been caught in the floe before she could make her way into harbour for shelter.

    Archibald Hughson W.H.G. Kingston
  • To get through this floe, it was necessary to form a channel with the ice-saws.

    Notable Voyagers W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith
  • Though the floe had been considerable no mishap occurred to them.

    Notable Voyagers W.H.G. Kingston and Henry Frith
  • One was seen at some distance from a floe, in which there was a crack.

    Peter the Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • She appeared about a quarter of a mile off or more, at the edge of the floe.

    Peter the Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • She at last rose close to a floe, when we all rushed in upon her.

    Peter the Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • The whale was killed, and made fast to the floe, waiting for the return of the ship.

    Peter the Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for floe

floe

/fləʊ/
noun
1.
See ice floe
Word Origin
C19: probably from Norwegian flo slab, layer, from Old Norse; see flaw1
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 floe
n.

1817, first used by Arctic explorers, probably from Norwegian flo "layer, slab," from Old Norse flo, related to first element in flagstone (q.v.). Earlier explorers used flake.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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floe in Science
floe
  (flō)   
A mass or sheet of floating ice.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Nearby words for floe

Word Value for floe

7
8
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