See more synonyms for hydrofoil on Thesaurus.com
  1. Naval Architecture. a surface form creating a thrust against water in a direction perpendicular to the plane approximated by the surface.
  2. Nautical.
    1. a winglike member having this form, designed to lift the hull of a moving vessel.
    2. a vessel equipped with hydrofoils.

Origin of hydrofoil

First recorded in 1915–20; hydro-1 + foil2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hydrofoil

hydrofoil, hydroplane, speedboat

Examples from the Web for hydrofoil

Historical Examples of hydrofoil

  • Albanian sources claim that a dozen newer torpedo boats have been supplied by the Chinese, six of them hydrofoil types.

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

    The Wailing Octopus

    Harold Leland Goodwin

British Dictionary definitions for hydrofoil


  1. a fast light vessel the hull of which is raised out of the water on one or more pairs of fixed vanes
  2. 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