Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “float”

float

verb uk   /fləʊt/ us    /floʊt/

float verb (NOT SINK)

B1 [I] to stay on the surface of a liquid and not sink: An empty bottle will float. You can float very easily in/on the Dead Sea because it's so salty.

float verb (MOVE)

B1 [I or T, usually + adv/prep] to (cause to) move easily through, or along the surface of a liquid, or to (cause to) move easily through air: We spent a lazy afternoon floating down/along the river. He tossed the bottle into the waves and watched it float out to sea. The children enjoy floating their boats on the pond in the park. Fluffy white clouds were floating across the sky.figurative The sound of piano-playing floated out through the open window. [I usually + adv/prep] literary to move smoothly and attractively: She sort of floats around, like a ballet dancer. [I usually + adv/prep] to move or act without purpose: Since he lost his job, he's just floated around/about doing nothing.

float verb (SUGGEST)

[T] to suggest a plan or an idea to be considered: Ian has floated the idea that we should think about expanding into Europe next year.

float verb (CHANGE VALUE)

[I or T] specialized finance & economics to allow the value of a country's money to change according to the value of other countries' money: The government has decided to float the pound.

float verb (BUSINESS)

[T] to start selling shares in a business or company for the first time
Phrasal verbs

float

noun uk   /fləʊt/ us    /floʊt/

float noun (MONEY)

[S] UK a small amount of money kept by someone who works in a bar, etc., used for giving customers their change

float noun (VEHICLE)

[C] a large vehicle with a flat surface that is decorated and used in festivals: carnival floats

float noun (NOT SINK)

[C] a piece of wood or other light material that stays on the surface of water: Fishing nets are often held in position by floats.

float noun (DRINK)

[C] a drink with ice cream on the top: I'll have a root beer float, please.
(Definition of float from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of float?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “float” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

monster

any imaginary frightening creature, especially one that is large and strange

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More