American Dictionary of the English Language

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FLOAT, noun

1. That which swims or is borne on water; as a float of weeds and rushes. But particularly, a body or collection of timber, boards or planks fastened together and conveyed down a stream; a raft. [The latter word is more generally used in the United States.]

2. The cork or quill used on an angling line, to support it and discover the bite of a fish.

3. The act of flowing; flux; flood; the primary sense, but obsolete.

4. A quantity of earth, eighteen feet square and one deep.

5. A wave. [Latin fuctus.]

FLOAT, verb intransitive [Latin fluo, to flow.]

1. To be borne or sustained on the surface of a fluid; to swim; to be buoyed up; not to sink; not to be aground. We say, the water is so shallow, the ship will not float

2. To move or be conveyed on water; to swim. The raft floats down the river.

Three blustering nights, borne by the southern blast, I floated.

3. To be buoyed up and moved or conveyed in a fluid, as in air.

They stretch their plumes and float upon the wind.

4. To move with a light irregular course.

FLOAT, verb transitive

1. To cause to pass by swimming; to cause to be conveyed on water. The tide floated the ship into the harbor.

2. To flood; to inundate; to overflow; to cover with water.

Proud Pactolus floats the fruitful lands.