in the same boat


  1. a vessel for transport by water, constructed to provide buoyancy by excluding water and shaped to give stability and permit propulsion.
  2. a small ship, generally for specialized use: a fishing boat.
  3. a small vessel carried for use by a large one, as a lifeboat: They lowered the boats for evacuation.
  4. a ship.
  5. a vessel of any size built for navigation on a river or other inland body of water.
  6. a serving dish resembling a boat: a gravy boat; a celery boat.
  7. Ecclesiastical. a container for holding incense before it is placed in the censer.

verb (used without object)

  1. to go in a boat: We boated down the Thames.

verb (used with object)

  1. to transport in a boat: They boated us across the bay.
  2. to remove (an oar) from the water and place athwartships.Compare ship1(def 10).
  1. in the same boat, in the same circumstances; faced with the same problems: The new recruits were all in the same boat.
  2. miss the boat, Informal.
    1. to fail to take advantage of an opportunity: He missed the boat when he applied too late to get into college.
    2. to miss the point of; fail to understand: I missed the boat on that explanation.
  3. rock the boat. rock2(def 17).


  1. 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
  2. (not in technical use) another word for ship
  3. navy a submarine
  4. a container for gravy, sauce, etc
  5. a small boat-shaped container for incense, used in some Christian churches
  6. in the same boat sharing the same problems
  7. burn one’s boats See burn 1 (def. 19)
  8. miss the boat to lose an opportunity
  9. push the boat out British informal to celebrate, esp lavishly and expensively
  10. rock the boat informal to cause a disturbance in the existing situation


  1. (intr) to travel or go in a boat, esp as a form of recreation
  2. (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.

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