buoy

[ boo-ee, boi ]
/ ˈbu i, bɔɪ /

noun

Nautical. a distinctively shaped and marked float, sometimes carrying a signal or signals, anchored to mark a channel, anchorage, navigational hazard, etc., or to provide a mooring place away from the shore.

verb (used with object)

to keep afloat or support by or as if by a life buoy; keep from sinking (often followed by up): The life jacket buoyed her up until help arrived.
Nautical. to mark with a buoy or buoys.
to sustain or encourage (often followed by up): Her courage was buoyed by the doctor's assurances.

verb (used without object)

to float or rise by reason of lightness.

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Origin of buoy

1425–75; late Middle English boye a float <Middle French *boie, boue(e) <Germanic; akin to beacon

OTHER WORDS FROM buoy

un·buoyed, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH buoy

boy, buoy .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for buoy

British Dictionary definitions for buoy

buoy
/ (bɔɪ, US ˈbuːɪ) /

noun

a distinctively shaped and coloured float, anchored to the bottom, for designating moorings, navigable channels, or obstructions in a body of waterSee also life buoy

verb

(tr usually foll by up) to prevent from sinkingthe belt buoyed him up
(tr usually foll by up) to raise the spirits of; hearten
(tr) nautical to mark (a channel or obstruction) with a buoy or buoys
(intr) to rise to the surface

Word Origin for buoy

C13: probably of Germanic origin; compare Middle Dutch boeie, boeye; see beacon
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