a steam-driven vessel, especially a small one or one used on inland waters.

Origin of steamboat

An Americanism dating back to 1775–85; steam + boat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for steamboat

Contemporary Examples of steamboat

Historical Examples of steamboat

  • The same that dove with the young woman under the steamboat paddles.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Next summer a steamboat was fitted out for the purpose, and the cable was submerged.

  • Mr. Martin then went to Detroit, where he worked a year on the steamboat Wisconsin.

  • When the steamboat arrived at Dawson, White Fang went ashore.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • But he conceived the idea of a steamboat and set to work to make one.

    The Age of Invention

    Holland Thompson

British Dictionary definitions for steamboat



a boat powered by a steam engine
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 steamboat

1787, from steam + boat (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper