a flat-bottomed, bargelike boat fitted for use as a floating dwelling but not for rough water.

verb (used without object)

to travel or live on a houseboat.

Origin of houseboat

First recorded in 1780–90; house + boat
Related formshouse·boat·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for houseboat

Contemporary Examples of houseboat

Historical Examples of houseboat

  • Both in town and country, the riffraff of the houseboat element are in disfavor.

    Afloat on the Ohio

    Reuben Gold Thwaites

  • Another time I had accompanied my father on a trip on the Ganges in his houseboat.

    My Reminiscences

    Rabindranath Tagore

  • Dick, when I buy a houseboat I'm going to engage you as captain.

    The Rover Boys on the Farm

    Arthur M. Winfield (AKA Edward Stratemeyer)

  • The houseboat was now only a little more than a quarter of a mile from the beach.

    Madge Morton's Secret

    Amy D. V. Chalmers

  • The voices were not those of any member of the houseboat party.

    Madge Morton's Secret

    Amy D. V. Chalmers

British Dictionary definitions for houseboat



a stationary boat or barge used as a home
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 houseboat

1790, from house (n.) + boat (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper