[ boht ]
See synonyms for: boatboatedboating on

  1. a vessel for transport by water, constructed to provide buoyancy by excluding water and shaped to give stability and permit propulsion.

  2. a small ship, generally for specialized use: a fishing boat.

  1. a small vessel carried for use by a large one, as a lifeboat: They lowered the boats for evacuation.

  2. a ship.

  3. a vessel of any size built for navigation on a river or other inland body of water.

  4. a serving dish resembling a boat: a gravy boat;a celery boat.

  5. Ecclesiastical. a container for holding incense before it is placed in the censer.

verb (used without object)
  1. to go in a boat: We boated down the Thames.

verb (used with object)
  1. to transport in a boat: They boated us across the bay.

  2. to remove (an oar) from the water and place athwartships.: Compare ship1 (def. 10).

Idioms about boat

  1. in the same boat, in the same circumstances; faced with the same problems: The new recruits were all in the same boat.

  2. miss the boat, Informal.

    • to fail to take advantage of an opportunity: He missed the boat when he applied too late to get into college.

    • to miss the point of; fail to understand: I missed the boat on that explanation.

  1. rock the boat. rock2 (def. 17).

Origin of boat

First recorded before 900; Middle English boot (noun), Old English bāt; cognate with Old Norse beit

Other words from boat

  • boat·a·ble, adjective
  • boatless, adjective

Words that may be confused with boat

Words Nearby boat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use boat in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for boat


/ (bəʊt) /

  1. a small vessel propelled by oars, paddle, sails, or motor for travelling, transporting goods, etc, esp one that can be carried aboard a larger vessel

  2. (not in technical use) another word for ship

  1. navy a submarine

  2. a container for gravy, sauce, etc

  3. a small boat-shaped container for incense, used in some Christian churches

  4. in the same boat sharing the same problems

  5. burn one's boats See burn 1 (def. 19)

  6. miss the boat to lose an opportunity

  7. push the boat out British informal to celebrate, esp lavishly and expensively

  8. rock the boat informal to cause a disturbance in the existing situation

  1. (intr) to travel or go in a boat, esp as a form of recreation

  2. (tr) to transport or carry in a boat

Origin of boat

Old English bāt; related to Old Norse beit 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with boat


see burn one's bridges (boats); in the same boat; miss the boat; rock the boat.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.