[ sam-pan ]
/ ˈsæm pæn /


any of various small boats of the Far East, as one propelled by a single scull over the stern and provided with a roofing of mats.

Origin of sampan

First recorded in 1610–20, sampan is from the Chinese word sānbǎn three-plank (boat), or < cognate dial. forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sampan

British Dictionary definitions for sampan


/ (ˈsæmpæn) /


any small skiff, widely used in the Orient, that is propelled by oars or a scull

Word Origin for sampan

C17: from Chinese san pan, from san three + pan board
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