from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A clincher-built boat smaller than a cutter, usually hoisted at the stern of a vessel, and used for hack-work. It is about 4 feet in beam and 12 feet in length, with a bluff bow and wide transom.

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

  • noun (Naut.) A boat of medium size belonging to a ship.

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

  • noun a yawl used by a ship's sailors for general work


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • They set off in the jolly-boat or the gig, and leave one of their number to dicker with say Pullings or Babbington, eek.

    The pirate smiles the fabulous smile of celebrity.

  • I remember him now, when we was in the jolly-boat, suggesting it all to our minds just by one sentence.

    Twelve Stories and a Dream, by H. G. Wells

  • While the men of the coast-guard were hurrying down to make ready the jolly-boat and hail the pinnace, Carroway stopped to pay the score, and to give his son some beer and meat.

    Mary Anerley

  • He had ordered his pinnace to meet him here, himself having ridden from Scarborough, and the pinnace had brought the jolly-boat in tow, according to his directions.

    Mary Anerley

  • The men had landed with the jolly-boat, which was handier for beach work, leaving one of their number to mind the larger craft while they should refresh themselves.

    Mary Anerley

  • It wasn't fear, or love, or even respect; I suspect they felt it would somehow be mean to disappoint him, and so they fell in with every folly, whether it was charging a pirate prau in a jolly-boat or singing shanties when they ought to have been nursing their wounds or crawling away to sink into an exhausted sleep.

    Flashman's Lady

  • The cured salmon had been placed in the jolly-boat the evening before, and orders were strictly given, that it should be covered during the night; but the attention paid to those orders amounted to what I have related.

    A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden 2nd edition

  • On Sunday morning, the 2nd, at eleven, as the church bells of Sheerness were chiming a merry peal, we commenced preparations for our departure, by sending our two friends off in the jolly-boat, in which they must have got pretty wet; for a sea was running sufficiently high to cause them some little discomfort.

    A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden 2nd edition

  • As the cutter drifted close in to the shore, a great number of filbert trees were pointed out to us by our pilot; and since the fawn had shown, the day before, such partiality for the leaves, I rowed the jolly-boat to land, and commenced plucking as much as the boat would carry.

    A Yacht Voyage to Norway, Denmark, and Sweden 2nd edition

  • They were, on the following day, attacked by a prahu, which fired into them and severely wounded one man, and succeeded in capturing the jolly-boat; but finding nothing in her, set her on fire -- Lascars and all.

    The Expedition to Borneo of H.M.S. Dido For the Suppression of Piracy


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  • "The jolly-boat was stowed inside the launch and the work was not at all apparent, but an informed eye saw it at once."

    —Patrick O'Brian, The Thirteen Gun Salute, 125

    March 4, 2008

  • A yawl (not to be confused with y'all) used by a ship's sailors for general work.

    March 4, 2008