• synonyms


[ney-tey-shuh n, na-]
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  1. an act or the skill of swimming.
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Origin of natation

1535–45; < Latin natātiōn- (stem of natātiō), equivalent to natāt(us) (past participle of natāre to swim) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsna·ta·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for natation

Historical Examples

  • I wondered at what period of their lives they had acquired their dexterity at natation.

    The Bible in Spain

    George Borrow

  • Some of the girls had taken lessons in the "School of Natation" in the lower bay, and could swim very well.

    A Little Country Girl

    Susan Coolidge

  • Indeed one of these was in flood, and they never could have crossed it had it not been for Otter's powers of natation.

    The People Of The Mist

    H. Rider Haggard

  • Never, I think, did any swimmer in like circumstances perform such a remarkable feat of natation.

  • It has long legs, the better to wade with, and webbed feet admirably adapted to natation.

British Dictionary definitions for natation


  1. a formal or literary word for swimmingSee swimming
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Derived Formsnatational, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Latin natātiō a swimming, from natāre to swim
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 natation


1650s, from Latin natationem (nominative natatio), noun of action from past participle stem of natare "to swim" (see natant).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper