Also called swamp boat. a small open boat having a very shallow draft and driven by a caged airplane propeller mounted above the rear transom, capable of traveling at relatively high speeds through shallow water, swamps, etc.

verb (used without object)

to go or travel in an airboat.

Origin of airboat

1865–70, for an earlier sense; air(craft) + boat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for airboat

Historical Examples of airboat

  • The airboat and long-range surveillance had been the result.

    The Lani People

    J. F. Bone

  • The airboat murmured overhead, hot gold in the sunset light.

    The Sensitive Man

    Poul William Anderson

  • Salvadro saved that situation by going out and bringing some in from the airboat.

    The Keeper

    Henry Beam Piper

  • She and I came here in her airboat, directly from the feast.

    Last Enemy

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Ravindau led the general through a door and into an airboat lying upon the terrace outside the laboratory.

    Skylark Three

    Edward Elmer Smith

British Dictionary definitions for airboat



another name for swamp boat
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