verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- a flat tool for spreading and smoothing plaster or stucco.
- a tool for polishing marble.
- loose fragments of rock, ore, etc., that have been moved from one place to another by the action of wind, water, etc.
- ore that has been washed downhill from an orebody and is found lying on the surface of the ground.
- any mineral in suspension in water.
Origin of float
Synonyms for float
Examples from the Web for floats
Contemporary Examples of floats
The film often floats back and forth between these moments of satire and sadness.‘Force Majeure’ and the Swedish Family Vacation From Hell
October 27, 2014
But Still Walking is bathed in lovely summer light, and it floats on air.The Oscar International Film Festival: ‘Stranger By the Lake’ and Foreign Films You Should Watch
February 2, 2014
There were a couple of black children on one of the floats, and a plump black tuba player marched with the high school band.‘The Land of the Permanent Wave’ Is Bud Shrake’s Classic Take on ‘60s Texas
February 2, 2014
The festival, like all Jewish festivals, floats around the calendar—this year, in fact, it falls on Thanksgiving.Sarah Palin Is Here to Save Christmas, Thank God
November 13, 2013
But she ran a badly flawed campaign, Obama won, and Hillary is now an international diplomat who floats above partisan politics.The Hillary Fantasy
November 21, 2011
Historical Examples of floats
I can only say that in any case it is of the kind that floats and is unfixed.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
The swan pushes from the bank and floats dreaming into mid stream.Monday or Tuesday
Any ship that floats becomes invulnerable with one of these.The Stark Munro Letters
J. Stark Munro
You've been fishing with another man's floats and losing your labor.Capt'n Davy's Honeymoon
With proper use the canoe is one of the safest crafts that floats.Taxidermy
Leon Luther Pray
- to launch or establish (a commercial enterprise, etc)
- to offer for sale (stock or bond issues, etc) on the stock market
Word Origin for float
early 12c., "state of floating" (Old English flot meant "body of water"), from float (v.). Meaning "platform on wheels used for displays in parades, etc." is from 1888, probably from earlier sense of "flat-bottomed boat" (1550s). As a type of fountain drink, by 1915.
Float.--An ade upon the top of which is floated a layer of grape juice, ginger ale, or in some cases a disher of fruit sherbet or ice cream. In the latter case it would be known as a "sherbet float" or an "ice-cream float." ["The Dispenser's Formulary: Or, Soda Water Guide," New York, 1915]
Few soda water dispensers know what is meant by a "Float Ice Cream Soda." This is not strange since the term is a coined one. By a "float ice cream soda" is meant a soda with the ice cream floating on top, thus making a most inviting appearance and impressing the customer that you are liberal with your ice cream, when you are not really giving any more than the fellow that mixes his ice cream "out of sight." ["The Spatula," Boston, July, 1908]
late Old English flotian "to float" (class II strong verb; past tense fleat, past participle floten), from Proto-Germanic *flutojanan (cf. Old Norse flota, Middle Dutch vloten), from PIE root *pleu- "to flow" (see pluvial). Of motion through air, from 1630s. Related: Floated; floating.