Naval Architecture. a surface form creating a thrust against water in a direction perpendicular to the plane approximated by the surface.
  1. a winglike member having this form, designed to lift the hull of a moving vessel.
  2. a vessel equipped with hydrofoils.


Nearby words

  1. hydroelectricity,
  2. hydroencephalocele,
  3. hydrofluoric,
  4. hydrofluoric acid,
  5. hydrofluorocarbon,
  6. hydroforming,
  7. hydroformylation,
  8. hydrofracking,
  9. hydrofracturing,
  10. hydrogel

Origin of hydrofoil

First recorded in 1915–20; hydro-1 + foil2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hydrofoil

  • It acted as a hydrofoil, its forward motion pulling it deeper into the water.

    The Wailing Octopus|Harold Leland Goodwin
  • Albanian sources claim that a dozen newer torpedo boats have been supplied by the Chinese, six of them hydrofoil types.

British Dictionary definitions for hydrofoil



a fast light vessel the hull of which is raised out of the water on one or more pairs of fixed vanes
any of these vanes
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 hydrofoil



1959, "boat that travels through water on wings," short for hydrofoil boat, originally the name of the "wings" themselves (1920); formed in English from hydro- + foil (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper