- 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.
- a life buoy.
- 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.
- to float or rise by reason of lightness.
Origin of buoy
SynonymsSee more synonyms for buoy on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for buoying
Without her buoying him, you wonder if he would have gotten where he did.Elizabeth Edwards' Final Days
December 7, 2010
The wine he had been imbibing was buoying him up, and he was inclined to be garrulous.The White Blackbird
Some of the sanguine spirits aboard this train are buoying themselves up with the idea of getting home.A Yeoman's Letters
P. T. Ross
"I think it does," I struggled against the tide, manfully, buoying myself up with the tracing of the blotter.The Million-Dollar Suitcase
Even in the early translation, the Manrique, the movement is as of strong and steady wind or tide, holding up and buoying.Complete Prose Works
With the thoroughness that marked all his preparations, Perry spent another day in sounding on the bar and buoying the channel.The Boys of 1812 and Other Naval Heroes
James Russell Soley
- 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
- (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 and History for buoying
late 16c., "to mark with a buoy," from buoy (n.). Meaning "rise up, lift, sustain" is from c.1600, perhaps influenced by Spanish boyar "to float," ultimately from the same source. In the figurative sense (of hopes, spirits, etc.) it is recorded from 1640s. Related: Buoyed; buoying.