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

  • noun A light, open, slender boat that has pointed ends and is propelled by paddles.
  • intransitive verb To carry or send by canoe.
  • intransitive verb To travel in or propel a canoe.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To paddle a canoe; sail in a canoe.
  • noun A light boat designed to be propelled by a paddle or paddles held in the hands without fixed supports.
  • Canoe-shaped.

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

  • noun A boat used by rude nations, formed of trunk of a tree, excavated, by cutting of burning, into a suitable shape. It is propelled by a paddle or paddles, or sometimes by sail, and has no rudder.
  • noun A boat made of bark or skins, used by savages.
  • noun A light pleasure boat, especially designed for use by one who goes alone upon long excursions, including portage. It it propelled by a paddle, or by a small sail attached to a temporary mast.
  • intransitive verb To manage a canoe, or voyage in a canoe.

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

  • noun A small long and narrow boat, propelled by one or more people (depending on the size of canoe), using single-bladed paddles. The paddlers face in the direction of travel, in either a seated position, or kneeling on the bottom of the boat. Canoes are open on top, and pointed at both ends.
  • noun slang An oversize, usually older, luxury car.
  • verb To ride or paddle a canoe.

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

  • verb travel by canoe
  • noun small and light boat; pointed at both ends; propelled with a paddle


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

[French canoe and Spanish canoa (French, from Spanish), of Cariban origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Adopted in 16th century from Spanish canoa, borrowed in turn by Columbus from Taino kanoa ("dugout canoe").


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  • And then there's the Guinean-born guy suffering from what he describes as canoe sickness, an illness that keeps him from his dream of playing professional soccer.

    Review: 'How To Escape A Leper Colony' 2010

  • The bottom of his canoe is a wrack of fish — pike and walleyes stacked like driftwood.

    T. 2006

  • We decided on the word canoe, which is a word that Christopher Columbus heard from some of the Indians.

    America In So Many Words 1998

  • Did I venture to run the wildest rapids of the creek in the clumsy box which I called my canoe, she trusted her newest frock and ribbons to my seamanship.

    David Malcolm Nelson Lloyd 1903

  • It was what they call a canoe (so the Flamingoes told me), and most of the men in it were black; but there was one white man who had a curious stick in his hand, which he every now and then would point at some bird or animal, and then he made tire come out of the stick, and the bird or animal generally got hurt.

    The Junior Classics — Volume 8 Animal and Nature Stories William Patten 1902

  • As an example, the word "canoe" is made up of four keystroke pairs.

    Wired Top Stories Wired UK 2011

  • "We'll have to portage," Corliss said, as Frona turned the canoe from the bank.

    CHAPTER 25 2010

  • It was in the fall of 1896 that the two partners came down to the east bank of the Yukon, and drew a Peterborough canoe from a moss-covered cache.

    TOO MUCH GOLD 2010

  • She was too gentle to tyrannize over her playfellow, yet she had ruled him abjectly, except when in canoe, or on horse or surf-board, at which times he had taken charge and she had rendered obedience.

    ALOHA OE 2010

  • But where the currents come together he canoe is turned over.

    The White Man's Way 2010


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  • Here's one!

    December 2, 2007

  • I wonder why this is pronounced and spelt the way it is? The Haitian, Spanish, and original English was canoa, then English developed various spellings such as cano, canow, canoo. The last of these got established as the pronunciation (too late for the Great Vowel Shift to have caused it); while the anomalous spelling canoe (not from Dutch, which has cano) prevailed. Another such puzzle is lasso.

    August 4, 2008

  • Do we know of any other instance of oe being pronounced this way?

    October 9, 2009

  • Shoe

    October 9, 2009

  • Evildoer.

    October 9, 2009

  • We have rude nations and savage races in the defs. Yikes.

    July 29, 2011

  • When I was wee, maybe 8 or so, my father built a canoe. He had access to the school woodworking room after hours and planed some plywood according to build-your-own plans then fibreglassed it. It did look very homemade but we were assured it was watertight. Anyway, for the maiden voyage, on the Goulburn River, it was my Dad and the older ones - brother Jeff and cousin Sally - who went out in it. I was looking away at the critical moment just after launch but reportedly someone got their paddle caught in someone else's fishing rod and there was a tangle and suddenly they were upside down. By the time our canoeists, and I use the term loosely, had bobbed to the surface (in their lifejackets, at least they got that right) the canoe was sailing away down the river. Soon after the grim (and wet) party set off in the car to the next crossing downstream where a bridge went over the river. We walked back up and found the remains of the canoe smashed up about some rocks in the middle of the water. "Huh, only rocks in the damn river and the canoe had to go and hit them!" my dad yelled. We left the bits there, unsalvageable bright yellow jigsaw pieces with their strips of fibreglass dangling. On the way home all was pretty silent. Until my sister said out loud, perhaps wondering how to grieve for a plaything we never got to toy with, "We didn't even get to name it."

    "Rockdodger?" I suggested helpfully.

    July 29, 2011

  • I've added it to my "Disturbing Definitions" list.

    July 29, 2011