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or kaiak, kyack, kyak

[kahy-ak] /ˈkaɪ æk/
an Eskimo canoe with a skin cover on a light framework, made watertight by flexible closure around the waist of the occupant and propelled with a double-bladed paddle.
a small boat resembling this, made commercially of a variety of materials and used in sports.
verb (used without object)
to go or travel by kayak.
verb (used with object)
to travel on by kayak:
to kayak the Colorado River.
Origin of kayak
First recorded in 1750-60, kayak is from the Inuit word qayaq
Related forms
kayaker, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for kayak
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We supposed that the paddle and the harpoon went with the kayak.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • While we were at breakfast, Weymouth came down to report a kayak coming off.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens
  • The backbone will turn into a kayak and carry you safely to the island.

    A Treasury of Eskimo Tales Clara Kern Bayliss
  • “But where the kayak and the oomiak cannot float the sledge may go,” said the Captain.

    The Giant of the North R.M. Ballantyne
  • Will you send a young man in a kayak to Poloeland with a message from me to my people?

    The Giant of the North R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for kayak


a small light canoe-like boat used by the Inuit, consisting of a light frame covered with watertight animal skins
a fibreglass or canvas-covered canoe of similar design
Word Origin
C18: from Inuktitut (Greenland dialect)
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 kayak

1757, from Danish kajak, from Greenland Eskimo qayaq, literally "small boat of skins." The verb is attested from 1875, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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