Definition of boat noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//bəʊt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//boʊt//
    Types of boats and ships, Coastlines and the sea, Boating
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  1. 1  a vehicle (smaller than a ship) that travels on water, moved by oars, sails or a motor a rowing/sailing boat a fishing boat You can take a boat trip along the coast. see also canal boat, lifeboat, motorboat, powerboat, speedboat, steamboat See related entries: Coastlines and the sea, Boating
  2. 2  any ship ‘How are you going to France?’ ‘We're going by boat (= by ferry).’ see also gravy boat, sauce boat See related entries: Types of boats and ships
  3. Word OriginOld English bāt, of Germanic origin.Extra examples A new type of patrol boat was launched from the Essex coast yesterday. A new type of patrol boat was launched yesterday. Beth had gone down to Bombay to meet the boat on which her sister was arriving. Boats were anchored two and three abreast. Ferry boats ply regularly between all the resorts on the lake. He beached the boat and the children leaped out to explore. He was adrift in an open boat for three days. I pushed the boat out into the middle of the river. I took them in my boat. If you don’t buy now, you may find that you’ve missed the boat. My brother took us all out in his new boat. Normally the boat is crewed by five people. She was told to keep her mouth shut and not rock the boat. Sit down, you’re rocking the boat. The boat chugged out to sea. The boat headed upriver. The boat is propelled by a powerful outboard motor. The boat pitched violently from side to side. The boat slowly filled with icy water. The boat was swamped by a huge wave. The cave can only be reached by boat. The harbour was crowded, with boats berthed two and three abreast. The lifeboat was preparing to go to the aid of the stricken boat. They ate on the boat. They crossed the island to catch a boat for islands south of Skye. We hired a canal boat in France. We spent our holiday going up a canal on a narrow boat. Where did you learn to handle a boat? You couldn’t take a boat out in that wild sea. a Mississippi river boat a boat from Jamaica to Trinidad a flotilla of small boats boats bobbing up and down in the estuary the 7.30 p.m. boat train to Harwich ‘How are you getting to France?’ ‘We’’e going by boat.’ a rescue/​patrol/​pleasure/​passenger boat a rowing/​sailing/​fishing/​canal boatIdioms to be in the same difficult situation
    burn your bridges (British English also burn your boats)
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    to do something that makes it impossible to return to the previous situation later Think carefully before you resign—you don't want to burn your bridges.
    float somebody’s boat
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    (informal) to be what somebody likes You can listen to whatever kind of music floats your boat.
    (informal) to be unable to take advantage of something because you are too late If you don't buy now, you may find that you've missed the boat. (British English, informal) to spend a lot of money on enjoying yourself or celebrating something synonym splash out (informal) to do something that upsets a situation and causes problems She was told to keep her mouth shut and not rock the boat.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: boat