or kai·ak, ky·ack, ky·ak



an Eskimo canoe with a skin cover on a light framework, made watertight by flexible closure around the waist of the occupant and propelled with a double-bladed paddle.
a small boat resembling this, made commercially of a variety of materials and used in sports.

verb (used without object)

to go or travel by kayak.

verb (used with object)

to travel on by kayak: to kayak the Colorado River.

Origin of kayak

First recorded in 1750–60, kayak is from the Inuit word qayaq
Related formskay·ak·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for kayak

kayak, outrigger, dugout, coracle, pirogue, piragua

Examples from the Web for kayak

Contemporary Examples of kayak

Historical Examples of kayak

  • We supposed that the paddle and the harpoon went with the kayak.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens

  • While we were at breakfast, Weymouth came down to report a kayak coming off.

    Left on Labrador

    Charles Asbury Stephens

  • The backbone will turn into a kayak and carry you safely to the island.

    A Treasury of Eskimo Tales

    Clara Kern Bayliss

  • “But where the kayak and the oomiak cannot float the sledge may go,” said the Captain.

    The Giant of the North

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • Will you send a young man in a kayak to Poloeland with a message from me to my people?

    The Giant of the North

    R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for kayak




a small light canoe-like boat used by the Inuit, consisting of a light frame covered with watertight animal skins
a fibreglass or canvas-covered canoe of similar design

Word Origin for kayak

C18: from Inuktitut (Greenland dialect)
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 kayak

1757, from Danish kajak, from Greenland Eskimo qayaq, literally "small boat of skins." The verb is attested from 1875, from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper