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See more synonyms for boating on Thesaurus.com
  1. the use of boats, especially for pleasure: He enjoyed boating and swimming.
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  1. of or relating to boats: boating clothes.
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Origin of boating

First recorded in 1600–10; boat + -ing1, -ing2


  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.
  3. a small vessel carried for use by a large one, as a lifeboat: They lowered the boats for evacuation.
  4. a ship.
  5. a vessel of any size built for navigation on a river or other inland body of water.
  6. a serving dish resembling a boat: a gravy boat; a celery boat.
  7. Ecclesiastical. a container for holding incense before it is placed in the censer.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to go in a boat: We boated down the Thames.
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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).
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  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.
    1. to fail to take advantage of an opportunity: He missed the boat when he applied too late to get into college.
    2. to miss the point of; fail to understand: I missed the boat on that explanation.
  3. rock the boat. rock2(def 17).
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Origin of boat

before 900; Middle English boot (noun), Old English bāt; cognate with Old Norse beit
Related formsboat·a·ble, adjectiveboat·less, adjective
Can be confusedbarge boat canoe cruise ship sailboat ship yacht
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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British Dictionary definitions for boating


  1. the practice of rowing, sailing, or cruising in boats as a form of recreation
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  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
  3. navy a submarine
  4. a container for gravy, sauce, etc
  5. a small boat-shaped container for incense, used in some Christian churches
  6. in the same boat sharing the same problems
  7. burn one's boats See burn 1 (def. 19)
  8. miss the boat to lose an opportunity
  9. push the boat out British informal to celebrate, esp lavishly and expensively
  10. rock the boat informal to cause a disturbance in the existing situation
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  1. (intr) to travel or go in a boat, esp as a form of recreation
  2. (tr) to transport or carry in a boat
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for boating



Old English bat "boat, ship, vessel," from Proto-Germanic *bait- (cf. Old Norse batr, Dutch boot, German Boot), possibly from PIE root *bheid- "to split" (see fissure), with the sense of making a boat by hollowing out a tree trunk; or it may be an extension of the name for some part of a ship. French bateau "boat" is from Old English or Norse. Spanish batel, Italian battello, Medieval Latin batellus likewise probably are from Germanic.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with boating


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

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