- a vessel for transport by water, constructed to provide buoyancy by excluding water and shaped to give stability and permit propulsion.
- a small ship, generally for specialized use: a fishing boat.
- a small vessel carried for use by a large one, as a lifeboat: They lowered the boats for evacuation.
- a ship.
- a vessel of any size built for navigation on a river or other inland body of water.
- a serving dish resembling a boat: a gravy boat; a celery boat.
- Ecclesiastical. a container for holding incense before it is placed in the censer.
verb (used without object)
- to go in a boat: We boated down the Thames.
verb (used with object)
- to transport in a boat: They boated us across the bay.
- to remove (an oar) from the water and place athwartships.Compare ship1(def 10).
- in the same boat, in the same circumstances; faced with the same problems: The new recruits were all in the same boat.
- miss the boat, Informal.
- to fail to take advantage of an opportunity: He missed the boat when he applied too late to get into college.
- to miss the point of; fail to understand: I missed the boat on that explanation.
- rock the boat. rock2(def 17).
- a small vessel propelled by oars, paddle, sails, or motor for travelling, transporting goods, etc, esp one that can be carried aboard a larger vessel
- (not in technical use) another word for ship
- navy a submarine
- a container for gravy, sauce, etc
- a small boat-shaped container for incense, used in some Christian churches
- in the same boat sharing the same problems
- burn one’s boats See burn 1 (def. 19)
- miss the boat to lose an opportunity
- push the boat out British informal to celebrate, esp lavishly and expensively
- rock the boat informal to cause a disturbance in the existing situation
- (intr) to travel or go in a boat, esp as a form of recreation
- (tr) to transport or carry in a boat
Old English bat “boat, ship, vessel,” from Proto-Germanic *bait- (cf. Old Norse batr, Dutch boot, German Boot), possibly from PIE root *bheid- “to split” (see fissure), with the sense of making a boat by hollowing out a tree trunk; or it may be an extension of the name for some part of a ship. French bateau “boat” is from Old English or Norse. Spanish batel, Italian battello, Medieval Latin batellus likewise probably are from Germanic.
Also, all in the same boat. In a similar situation, in the same position. For example, Everyone’s got too much work—we’re all in the same boat. This expression alludes to the risks shared by passengers in a small boat at sea. [Mid-1800s]
see burn one’s bridges (boats); in the same boat; miss the boat; rock the boat.