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[skoo-buh] /ˈsku bə/
a portable breathing device for free-swimming divers, consisting of a mouthpiece joined by hoses to one or two tanks of compressed air that are strapped on the back.
verb (used without object), scubaed, scubaing.
Origin of scuba
1950-55; s(elf)-c(ontained) u(nderwater) b(reathing) a(pparatus) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scuba
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The boys hurried to the room where the scuba equipment was kept.

  • The speedboat was there, and so was the scuba cart, but the rowboat wasn't.

  • When he's wearing his scuba apparatus, he's practically a self-contained submarine.

    Anything You Can Do Gordon Randall Garrett
  • His scuba was the type that combined the breathing apparatus with the full face plate.

    The Wailing Octopus Harold Leland Goodwin
  • Watch the scuba diver hand feed giant turtles, sting rays and even the menacing moray eels in the Hawaiian Reef Tank.

    Oahu Traveler's guide Bill Gleasner
British Dictionary definitions for scuba


  1. an apparatus used in skindiving, consisting of a cylinder or cylinders containing compressed air attached to a breathing apparatus
  2. (as modifier): scuba diving
Word Origin
C20: from the initials of self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
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 scuba

1952, acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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