Definitions

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

  • n. A small rounded boat made of waterproof material stretched over a wicker or wooden frame.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small, circular or oblong boat made of wickerwork and made watertight with hides or pitch, propelled and steered with a single paddle and light enough to be carried on a man's back.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A boat made by covering a wicker frame with leather or oilcloth. It was used by the ancient Britons, and is still used by fisherman in Wales and some parts of Ireland. Also, a similar boat used in Tibet and in Egypt.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fisherman's boat used in Wales and on many parts of the Irish coast, made by covering a wicker frame with leather or oil-cloth; a kind of bull-boat. Also spelled corracle.

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

  • n. a small rounded boat made of hides stretched over a wicker frame; still used in some parts of Great Britain

Etymologies

Welsh corwgl, from Middle Irish curach, from Old Irish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Getting a body from river into a coracle is a tricky business, but he had practised it so long that he had it perfect, balance and heft and all, from his first grasp on the billowing sleeve to the moment when the little boat bobbed like a cork and spun like a drifting leaf, with the drowned man in-board and streaming water.

    A Rare Benedictine

  • The umbrella consists of a large hood, much like the ancient boat called a coracle, which being placed over the head reaches to the thighs behind.

    Himalayan Journals — Complete

  • I am confused about 'corach' which the OED knows as an alternative spelling of 'currach' or 'coracle' - a small wicker boat used in ancient times in Scotland and Ireland - hardly the usage here.

    The Old Foodie

  • The coracle is a circular basket boat, covered with buffalo hide or black plastic sheets.

    TravelPod.com Recent Updates

  • I also happen to feel, or rather, I did, that "coracle" was an especially lovely old word.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIV No 4

  • Andrew MuellerOnce upon a time, there was an amazing Channel 4 show called Lost no, not that one, in which teams were dumped, blindfolded, in exotic places and obliged to make their way back to London by hook, crook or improvised coracle.

    TV highlights 21/07/2011: Torchwood: Miracle Day | The Killing | John Oliver's New York | BBC Proms 2011: Mark Elder Conducts The Hallé | Art Of Survival | Shameless US

  • In the past two years, I have worked on a Welsh hill farm in lambing season, joined a male choir and competed at the National Eisteddfod, learned to row a coracle, been down one of the last Welsh coal mines, sent my middle-aged body out to train with Cardiff rugby players half my age.

    My quest to be more Welsh

  • They cover subjects such as Sports and Pastimes (Furry Dance, coracle fishing), 'Our Heritage of Skill '(The Cheese Maker, The Hand-Block Printer), and 'Our National Parks'.

    Being Bould

  • He knelt there rocking to-and-fro in the flimsy coracle, the waves almost coming over its sides, he legs becoming numb with cold and tried to remember.

    A Sorcerous Mist

  • If the passage is safe, we will follow in the second coracle.

    A Sorcerous Mist

Comments

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  • "There were even a few sailboats visible, far up the loch. Though when one drew near, I saw it was a coracle, a rough half-shell of tanned leather on a frame, not the sleek wooden shape I was used to."
    —Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (NY: Delacorte Press, 1991), 350

    January 2, 2010