- 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 for 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.
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.