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[toh-boht] /ˈtoʊˌboʊt/
a diesel-powered or steam-powered boat used especially on inland waterways to push groups of barges lashed to it in front or on one side or both.
Origin of towboat
First recorded in 1805-15; tow1 + boat Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for towboat
Historical Examples
  • The towboat and the railroad had done their work, and done it well and completely.

    Life On The Mississippi, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • The Lexington and a towboat were alongside helping to pump her out.

  • The expense is less, as there is the hull of the towboat to buy when separate.

    The houseboat book William F. Waugh
  • That towboat tailed us just the same, but we had the satisfaction of fooling him.

    The Seiners

    James B. (James Brendan) Connolly
  • I wouldn't let the ship be held up by anybody, least of all a towboat man.

    Cappy Ricks Peter B. Kyne
  • "Your passenger is not going back with you, sir," he called down over the rail to the towboat captain.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • "Ain't so sure about that, sir," stated the towboat man, loafing into an easier attitude.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • The towboat man was not enough interested to listen to statements concerning the Conomo's condition.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • Astern was the towboat Crucible making her way into the lock with a steel boat in tow.

  • One house serves for winter and summer residences—the current and towboat carrying you back and forth.

British Dictionary definitions for towboat


another word for tug (sense 5)
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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