Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small rowboat, especially one used to ferry supplies from ship to shore. Also called cockleboat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small rowing boat, especially one pulled behind a larger ship, or used to ferry goods between a ship and the shore.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small boat, esp. one used on rivers or near the shore.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small boat. See cock.

Etymologies

Middle English cokboot : cok, cockboat (from Anglo-Norman coque, probably ultimately from Latin caudica, from caudex, caudic-, tree trunk) + boot, boat; see boat.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From cock +‎ boat. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Malabar, that huge sea monster, in whose capacious belly so many human creatures lived and suffered, had dwindled to a walnut – shell, and yet beside her bulk how infinitely small had their own frail cockboat appeared as they shot out from under her towering stern!

    For the term of his natural life

  • "Thaar ain't water enough to float a cockboat; and I'm lookin 'out keerful and feelin' my way afore I plant a fut, you bet."

    Picked up at Sea The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek

  • This done with expedition, like men skilful in such mischief, as they took their cockboat to go aboard their own ship, it was overwhelmed in the sea, and certain of these men there drowned; the rest were preserved even by those silly souls whom they had before spoiled, who saved and delivered them aboard the _Swallow_.

    Sir Humphrey Gilbert's Voyage to Newfoundland

  • On these the adventurous mariner can sail his little cockboat, discreetly retiring before he becomes involved and engulfed in the main stream.

    Sea-Wolves of the Mediterranean

  • When we had rowed about half-way with our boats it began to blow very stiffly, and the sea ran so high that the cockboat of the

    A Source Book of Australian History

  • Jacobz in command of our pinnace manned with 4 musketeers and 6 rowers, all of them furnished with pikes and side arms together with the cockboat of the _Zeehaen_, with one of her second mates and six musketeers in it, to a bay situated N.W. of us at upwards of a mile's distance in order to ascertain what facilities (as regards fresh water, refreshments, timber and the like) may be available there.

    A Source Book of Australian History

  • We have put to sea in a cockboat, but we are quite prepared to rough it.

    David Copperfield

  • Conmee on Christass, lame crutch and leg sailor in cockboat armfolded ropepulling hitching stamp hornpipe through and through.

    Ulysses

  • This done with expedition, like men skilful in such mischief, as they took their cockboat to go aboard their own ship, it was overwhelmed in the sea, and certain of these men there drowned; the rest were preserved even by those silly souls whom they had before spoiled, who saved and delivered them aboard the Swallow.

    Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s Voyage to Newfoundland. Paras. 1-49

  • With scarcely more noise than the forest made in growing, I let the cockboat float up on the tide, correcting her course from time to time with a touch of the paddle astern; and so coming to the second bend, began to search the shore for a convenient landing.

    Poison Island

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.