Try Our Apps


Famous Last Words

jolly boat

a light boat carried at the stern of a sailing vessel.
a small pleasure sailboat for use in sheltered waters.
Origin of jolly boat
1720-30; jolly < Danish jolle yawl1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for jolly boat
Historical Examples
  • Once on the glorious anniversary of Yankee Independence, we made the lease of a jolly boat.

    Los Gringos H. A. (Henry Agustus) Wise
  • My jolly boat was on deck, and I was informed, all my rigging was disposed of.

    The Pirates Own Book Charles Ellms
  • Both the sailors on board had been drowned, but the Captain himself had managed to make good his escape in the jolly boat.

    Strange Stories Grant Allen
  • "You shall, then;" and the captain ordered two men to get out the jolly boat.

    Now or Never Oliver Optic
  • Our captain ordered alongside the skiff, which served as his jolly boat, and directed the men to land me at the Great Cave.

    The Indian in his Wigwam Henry R. Schoolcraft
  • They escaped to the jolly boat, saving nothing but their lives.

    The Life of Francis Marion William Gilmore Simms
  • You had better take the jolly boat, and pick out twenty active fellows.

    Held Fast For England G. A. Henty
  • Just get into the boat alongside, and row to the brig; and tell them to lower the jolly boat and send it alongside.

    Held Fast For England G. A. Henty
  • For the first four hours it was doubtful whether the jolly boat, which was in davits across the stern, would last long.

    The Shellback's Progress Walter Runciman
  • The seaman dodged, and the cider mug spun into the planks of a jolly boat.

British Dictionary definitions for jolly boat

jolly boat

a small boat used as a utility tender for a vessel
a small sailing boat used for pleasure
Word Origin
C18: jolly probably from Danish jolleyawl1
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
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for jolly boat

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for jolly

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for jolly boat