1. 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.
  2. any of various small, primitive light boats.

verb (used without object), ca·noed, ca·noe·ing.

  1. to paddle a canoe.
  2. to go in a canoe.

verb (used with object), ca·noed, ca·noe·ing.

  1. to transport or carry by canoe.

  1. paddle one’s own canoe, Informal.
    1. to handle one’s own affairs; manage independently.
    2. to mind one’s own business.


  1. a light narrow open boat, propelled by one or more paddles
  2. NZ another word for waka (def. 1)
  3. in the same canoe NZ of the same tribe

verb -noes, -noeing or -noed

  1. to go in a canoe or transport by canoe

1842, from canoe (n.). Related: Canoed; canoing.


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.

see paddle one’s own canoe.

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