- a light boat carried at the stern of a sailing vessel.
- a small pleasure sailboat for use in sheltered waters.
Origin of jolly boat
Examples from the Web for jolly boat
The captain made a sign, and the jolly-boat entered the channel.Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
A few yards away from the stern-post was the jolly-boat with the crew.
They had no need to search for Mr. Rogers and the jolly-boat.Major Vigoureux
A. T. Quiller-Couch
It was from this quarter that the two boats—the longboat and the jolly-boat—were lowered.The Cryptogram
William Murray Graydon
An old term for a captain's boat, the original of jolly-boat.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
- a small boat used as a utility tender for a vessel
- a small sailing boat used for pleasure
Word Origin and History for jolly boat
1727, of unknown origin, probably from Danish jolle (17c.) or Dutch jol (1680s), both related to yawl; or it may be from Middle English jolywat (late 15c.) "a ship's small boat," of unknown origin.