a vessel, usually propelled by sail, formed of two hulls or floats held side by side by a frame above them.Compare trimaran.
a float or sailing raft formed of a number of logs lashed together, used in certain parts of India, South America, etc.
a quarrelsome person, especially a woman.
Canadian Dialect. a wooden sled.


Origin of catamaran

First recorded in 1690–1700, catamaran is from the Tamil word kaṭṭa-maram tied wood Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for catamaran

Historical Examples of catamaran

  • This happened once to the first catamaran that was sailed in New York Bay.

  • I shall want one hand with me to sail the catamaran while I do the fighting.

    Turned Adrift

    Harry Collingwood

  • She was a "twin boat:" that is, she had two hulls, like a "catamaran."

    Down South

    Oliver Optic

  • For some moments the deck of the Catamaran rang with the shouts, “Ship ahoy!”

    The Ocean Waifs

    Mayne Reid

  • Guided by the breath of heaven, and by that alone, did the Catamaran continue her course.

    The Ocean Waifs

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for catamaran



a sailing, or sometimes motored, vessel with twin hulls held parallel by a rigid framework
a primitive raft made of logs lashed together
old-fashioned a quarrelsome woman

Word Origin for catamaran

C17: from Tamil kattumaram tied timber
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 catamaran

East Indies log raft, 1670s, from Tamil kattu-maram "tied wood," from kattu "tie, binding" + maram "wood, tree."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper