- any of various slender, open boats, tapering to a point at both ends, propelled by paddles or sometimes sails and traditionally formed of light framework covered with bark, skins, or canvas, or formed from a dug-out or burned-out log or logs, and now usually made of aluminum, fiberglass, etc.
- any of various small, primitive light boats.
- to paddle a canoe.
- to go in a canoe.
- to transport or carry by canoe.
- paddle one's own canoe, Informal.
- to handle one's own affairs; manage independently.
- to mind one's own business.
Origin of canoe
- a light narrow open boat, propelled by one or more paddles
- NZ another word for waka (def. 1)
- in the same canoe NZ of the same tribe
- to go in a canoe or transport by canoe
Word Origin and History for paddle one's own canoe
1550s, originally in a West Indian context, from Spanish canoa, a term used by Columbus, from Arawakan (Haiti) canaoua. Extended to rough-made or dugout boats generally. Early variants in English included cano, canow, canoa, etc., before spelling settled down c.1600.
Idioms and Phrases with paddle one's own canoe
paddle one's own canoe
Be independent and self-reliant, as in It's time Bill learned to paddle his own canoe. This idiom alludes to steering one's own boat. [c. 1800]
see paddle one's own canoe.