from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A cargo-lighter built with a keel and decked over; a flat-bottomed freight-vessel with no power of pro-pulsion.
  • n. Same as keel, 6.
  • n. Any boat built with a keel, as distinguished from a center-board boat.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The boys were delighted with the varied activity and each day observed scores of things they could not have seen on the prairies: the shoeing of oxen, the tapping of a beer keg, repairs to a keel-boat, Sibley's commissary store with its nails and buckets and brooms.


  • Between Pittsburgh and Shawneetown, whilst "gliding merrily down the Ohio" in a _keel-boat_, "navigated by eight or ten of those half-horse and half-alligator gentry commonly called Ohio boatmen," Judge Hall was lulled to sweet sleep, as the rowers were "tugging at the oar," timing their strokes to the cadence: --

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 13, No. 374, June 6, 1829

  • When completed, in shape it is not unlike a small keel-boat.

    What I Saw in California

  • The captain of the keel-boat was shouting to us to make haste, and there was no time for another word; and I was glad to have it so, for another word might have made me indeed the boy Aunt Fanny was always calling me.

    The Rose of Old St. Louis

  • Furthermore, Colonel Clark was off the next morning at dawn to buy a Mississippi keel-boat.

    The Crossing

  • Ropes are cast off, the keel-boat pushes her blunt nose through the cold, muddy water, the oars churn up dirty, yellow foam, and cheers shake the sodden air.

    The Crossing

  • Pittsburg, anxiously waiting for his keel-boat to be completed, received

    Original journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 1804-1806

  • They shook hands solemnly and went onward with their devil-may-care test, devised in a historic keel-boat man's brain, as inflamed then by alcohol as their own were now.

    The Covered Wagon

  • The crew on the decks were relics from keel-boat days, surly and ugly of temper.

    The Way of a Man

  • The flatboat and keel-boat days of the great rivers were at their height, and the population was in large part transient, migratory, and bold; perhaps holding a larger per cent. of criminals than any Western population since could claim.

    The Story of the Outlaw A Study of the Western Desperado


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