[ floh-ting ]
/ ˈfloʊ tɪŋ /


being buoyed up on water or other liquid.
having little or no attachment to a particular place; moving from one place to another: a floating work force.
Pathology. away from its proper position, especially in a downward direction: a floating kidney.
not fixed or settled in a definite place or state: a floating population.
  1. in circulation or use, or not permanently invested, as capital.
  2. composed of sums due within a short time: a floating debt.
  1. having a soft suspension greatly reducing vibrations between the suspended part and its support.
  2. working smoothly.

Origin of floating

First recorded in 1555–65; float + -ing2

Related forms

float·ing·ly, adverbnon·float·ing, adjectivenon·float·ing·ly, adverbun·float·ing, adjective

Definition for floating (2 of 2)


[ floht ]
/ floʊt /

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)


Origin of float

before 1000; Middle English floten, Old English flotian; cognate with Old Norse flota, Middle Dutch vloten; akin to Old English flēotan to fleet2

Related forms

out·float, verb (used with object)re·float, verb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for floating

British Dictionary definitions for floating (1 of 2)


/ (ˈfləʊtɪŋ) /


having little or no attachment
(of an organ or part) displaced from the normal position or abnormally movablea floating kidney
not definitely attached to one place or policy; uncommitted or unfixedthe floating vote
  1. (of capital) not allocated or invested; available for current use
  2. (of debt) short-term and unfunded, usually raised by a government or company to meet current expenses
  3. (of a currency) free to fluctuate against other currencies in accordance with market forces
machinery operating smoothly through being free from external constraints
(of an electronic circuit or device) not connected to a source of voltage

Derived Forms

floatingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for floating (2 of 2)


/ (fləʊt) /



See also float off, floats

Derived Forms

floatable, adjectivefloatability, noun

Word Origin for float

Old English flotian; related to Old Norse flota , Old Saxon flotōn; see fleet ²
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

Medicine definitions for floating


[ flōtĭng ]


Completely or partially unattached.
Out of the normal position; unduly movable. Used of certain organs such as the kidney.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for floating


[ flōt ]

An air-filled sac in certain aquatic organisms, such as kelp, that helps maintain buoyancy. Also called air bladder air vesicle

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.