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tugboat

[tuhg-boht]
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noun
  1. a small, powerful boat for towing or pushing ships, barges, etc.

Origin of tugboat

An Americanism dating back to 1820–30; tug + boat
Also called towboat, tug.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tugboat

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was an odd defiance, a tugboat's challenge to a German battle line.

  • Martella, I am now ready to join you in capturing the tugboat.

    Up the Forked River

    Edward Sylvester Ellis

  • In fact, it was impossible for them to have done so, but there could be no doubt that they were all on the tugboat.

    Up the Forked River

    Edward Sylvester Ellis

  • No attempt was made on the tugboat to bring the second piece into action.

    Up the Forked River

    Edward Sylvester Ellis

  • This was followed by a cloud of steam that seemed to completely envelop the tugboat.

    Randy of the River

    Horatio Alger Jr.


Word Origin and History for tugboat

n.

1832, from tug (n.) + boat (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper