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[moh-ter-boht] /ˈmoʊ tərˌboʊt/
a boat propelled by an inboard or outboard motor.
verb (used without object)
to travel in or operate a motorboat:
to motorboat from Hyannis to Martha's Vineyard.
Origin of motorboat
1900-05; motor + boat
Related forms
motorboater, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for motor-boat
Historical Examples
  • “Perhaps Nat Poole will lend you his motor-boat,” suggested our hero, with a little grin.

    Dave Porter and the Runaways Edward Stratemeyer
  • I've arranged for a motor-boat so we can explore the lake here tomorrow.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
  • Their call, however, was unanswered and at last both boys were convinced that they had lost the location of the motor-boat.

  • “Take a motor-boat from Mallaig to Invermalluch Lodge,” he read.

    The Mystery of the Green Ray William Le Queux
  • "We're looking for a motor-boat called the Follow Me," he explained.

    The Adventure Club Afloat Ralph Henry Barbour
  • Eventually he agreed to take the motor-boat to within a few hundred yards of the spot.

    Uncanny Tales Various
  • The motor-boat chugged out from the landing-stage, and leaving a smooth silver ripple, darted north.

    Peter Cotterell's Treasure Rupert Sargent Holland
  • Courtlandt caught the colonel as he was entering his motor-boat.

    The Place of Honeymoons Harold MacGrath
  • In the morning he did see her—putting off on the lake, in a motor-boat with Jeff and Mr. Barmberry.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
  • They might have been able to do something to intercept that motor-boat.

    The Secret Wireless Lewis E. Theiss
British Dictionary definitions for motor-boat


any boat powered by a motor
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 motor-boat

also motorboat, 1902, from motor (n.) + boat (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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