from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb & adjective In a floating position or condition.
  • adverb & adjective On a boat or ship away from the shore; at sea.
  • adverb & adjective In circulation; prevailing.
  • adverb & adjective Awash; flooded.
  • adverb & adjective Drifting about; moving without guidance.
  • adverb & adjective Free or out of difficulty, especially financial difficulty.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Borne on the water; in a floating condition: as, the ship is afloat.
  • Figuratively, moving; passing from place to place; in circulation: as, a rumor is afloat.
  • Unfixed; moving without guide or control: as, our affairs are all afloat.
  • In a state of overflow; flooded: as, the main deck was afloat.
  • On board ship; at sea: as,cargo afloat and ashore.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb Borne on the water; floating; on board ship.
  • adverb Moving; passing from place to place; in general circulation.
  • adverb Unfixed; moving without guide or control; adrift.
  • adverb Covered with water bearing floating articles; flooded.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb floating
  • adverb out at sea
  • adverb making successful progress under one's own steam

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective aimlessly drifting
  • adjective covered with water
  • adjective borne on the water; floating


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Three of us afloat in the meadow by the swing,

    Three of us aboard in the basket on the lea.

    Winds are in the air, they are blowing in the spring,

    And waves are on the meadow like the waves there are at sea.

    Where shall we adventure, to-day that we're afloat,

    Wary of the weather and steering by a star?

    Shall it be to Africa, a-steeringof the boat,

    To Providence, or Babylon, or off to Malabar?

    - Robert Louis Stevenson, 'Pirate Story'.

    November 4, 2008

  • WeirdNet and its thesaurus aspirations...

    June 6, 2009