Definitions

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

  • noun A lightweight narrow barge with ends that curve up into a point and often a small cabin in the middle, propelled with a single oar from the stern and used on the canals of Venice.
  • noun A flatbottom riverboat.
  • noun A gondola car.
  • noun A basket, enclosure, or instrument sling suspended from and carried aloft by a balloon.
  • noun An enclosed structure suspended from a cable, used for conveying passengers, as to and from a ski slope.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A flat-bottomed boat, very long and narrow, formerly almost the exclusive means of conveyance in Venice, on the canals, but now superseded in part on the chief canals by small omnibus-steamers.
  • noun A lighter or large flat-bottomed boat on the rivers of New England. In this use also gondelo, gundelo.
  • noun A small boat used to transport the passengers or crew of a ship to and from the shore.
  • noun On a railroad, a gondola car. See below.
  • noun A vase or bowl of decorative character having a wide mouth, and usually of greater breadth than height: a term applied especially to carved vessels in crystal, agate, and similar materials.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL.] In conchology, a genus of gastropods: same as Cymbium, 1. Fèrussac;, 1821
  • noun A coach of unusual size with a boat-shaped bottom and seats for eight or more persons.

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

  • noun A long, narrow boat with a high prow and stern, used in the canals of Venice. A gondola is usually propelled by one or two oarsmen who stand facing the prow, or by poling. A gondola for passengers has a small open cabin amidships, for their protection against the sun or rain. A sumptuary law of Venice required that gondolas should be painted black, and they are customarily so painted now.
  • noun United States A flat-bottomed boat for freight.
  • noun United States A long platform car, either having no sides or with very low sides, used on railroads.
  • noun (Aëronautics) An elongated car under a dirigible.

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

  • noun A small long, narrow boat with a high prow and stern, propelled with a single oar, especially in Venice.
  • noun A hanging platform or car for transporting people or cargo.
  • noun rail transport A type of open railway car with low sides, used to carry heavy freight such as crushed rock or steel.
  • noun A free-standing shelving unit in a supermarket.

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

  • noun long narrow flat-bottomed boat propelled by sculling; traditionally used on canals of Venice
  • noun the compartment that is suspended from an airship and that carries personnel and the cargo and the power plant
  • noun a low flat-bottomed freight car with fixed sides but no roof

Etymologies

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

[Italian, from Old Italian gondula.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Venetian, which likely derives from Byzantine Greek κοντούρα (kontoura, "small tail").

Examples

  • When a man wants to start a gondola, he will begin by buying one already half past service -- a _gondola da traghetto_ or _di mezza età_.

    Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, First Series

  • When a man wants to start a gondola, he will begin by buying one already half past service -- a _gondola da traghetto_ or _di mezza età_.

    New Italian sketches

  • When a man wants to start a gondola, he will begin by buying one already half past service -- a _gondola da traghetto_ or _di mezza età_.

    Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete Series I, II, and III

  • A gondola is more beautiful, but the steam-launch takes one places, and an electric car is more comfortable than the hump of a camel.

    The Kempton-Wace Letters

  • The solution was to suspend a gondola from a 160 feet high gantry by what are known as trolley wires, in order that this strange craft could ply (as it still does) across the River Tees with foot passengers and up to nine cars.

    Suspending Belief

  • The gondola is a slow moving vehicle, hence the opportunity for snacking, drinking and of course, romance.

    Journey to Amore Aboard a Venetian Gondola with Gondola Getaway

  • To the average person, the gondola is even more a symbol of Venice than the lion of St. Mark.

    Veniceblog:

  • To the average person, the gondola is even more a symbol of Venice than the lion of St. Mark.

    Inner turmoil about gondolas

  • She looked so miserably old and weary that he called a gondola to his landing and made her get into it with him.

    A Foregone Conclusion

  • The gondola is French-built, made by lift company Poma, but given the 16-year construction period, it isn't what you'd call state of the art.

    The Guardian World News

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