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Definition of “float” - English Dictionary

"float" in American English

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floatverb

 us   /floʊt/
  • float verb (MOVE ON LIQUID)

[I/T] to ​stay or move ​easily on or over the ​surface of a ​liquid, or to ​cause something to move in this way: [I] An ​emptybottle will float on ​water. [I] I’d float around for ​hours, just ​fishing. [T] Fill the ​cups with ​hotcoffee and float ​heavycream on ​top. [I] We ​spent a ​lazyafternoon floating down the ​river. [I] fig. She ​removes the ​pins and her ​hair floats (= moves ​gracefully) down around her. [I] fig. Reports have been floating around (= ​heard from ​variouspeople) that the ​company might be for ​sale.
[I/T] Float also ​means to move ​easily through ​air: [I] Fluffy ​whiteclouds were floating ​across the ​sky.
  • float verb (MONEY)

[T] to ​sellbonds (= ​officialpapers given to ​people who ​lendmoney to a ​government or ​company): Cities float ​bondissues that are ​payable from ​propertytaxes.

floatnoun [C]

 us   /floʊt/
  • float noun [C] (VEHICLE)

a ​largevehicle that is ​decorated and used in ​parades (= ​public celebrations in which ​peoplemarch, ​walk, and ​ride along a ​plannedroute): Marching ​bands and ​elaborate floats will be ​featured in the ​parade.
  • float noun [C] (DRINK)

a ​sweetdrink with ​icecream floating in it: a ​rootbeer float
  • float noun [C] (MOVE ON LIQUID)

a ​piece of ​lightmaterial that ​stays on the ​surface of ​water: the float in a ​toilettank
(Definition of float from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"float" in British English

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floatverb

uk   /fləʊt/  us   /floʊt/
  • float verb (NOT SINK)

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

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • float verb (MOVE)

B1 [I or T, usually + adv/prep] to (​cause to) ​moveeasily through, or along the ​surface of a ​liquid, or to (​cause to) ​moveeasily through ​air: We ​spent a ​lazyafternoon floating down/along the ​river. He ​tossed the ​bottle into the ​waves and ​watched it float out tosea. The ​childrenenjoy floating ​theirboats on the ​pond in the ​park. Fluffy ​whiteclouds were floating ​across the ​sky.figurative The ​sound of piano-playing floated out through the ​openwindow.
[I usually + adv/prep] literary to ​movesmoothly and ​attractively: She ​sort of floats around, like a ​balletdancer.
[I usually + adv/prep] to ​move or ​act without ​purpose: Since he ​lost his ​job, he's just floated around/about doing nothing.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • float verb (SUGGEST)

[T] to ​suggest a ​plan or an ​idea to be ​considered: Laura has floated the idea that we should ​think about ​expanding into ​Europe next ​year.
  • float verb (BUSINESS)

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

floatnoun

uk   /fləʊt/  us   /floʊt/
  • float noun (VEHICLE)

[C] a ​largevehicle with a ​flatsurface that is ​decorated and used in festivals: carnival floats
  • float noun (NOT SINK)

[C] a ​piece of ​wood or other ​lightmaterial that ​stays on the ​surface of ​water: Fishing ​nets are often ​held in ​position by floats.
(Definition of float from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"float" in Business English

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floatverb

uk   us   /fləʊt/
[I or T] STOCK MARKET to ​offer new ​shares or ​bonds for ​sale on a ​financialmarket: The ​authority has recently floated a $170 million ​bond to ​pay for some of the ​installationcosts.
[I or T] STOCK MARKET to ​sellshares on a ​stockmarket for the first ​time in ​order to ​finance a new ​company: There are several new ​businesses looking to float.float (sth) on the stock market/stock exchange etc. The ​group is ​planning to float on the New York Stock Exchange later this ​year.float at $3/200p/ etc. (a share) The ​stock was floated at 233p a ​share last July and ​closed up 3.75p last night at 286.25p. Last January the ​chiefexecutive said he would only float the ​company if there was a "dramatic" ​revival in the ​market.
[I or T] ECONOMICS if a country floats its ​currency, or if the ​currency floats, the ​government no ​longercontrols its ​value in relation to the ​value of other ​currencies: Central Bank is ​planning to ​stopletting the peso float freely.
[T] to make a suggestion, especially one for doing something that is different from what has been done in the past: float an idea/proposal/suggestion The ​partnershipidea was floated at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee ​hearing last ​year.
[I] FINANCE if a ​price or ​amount floats, it ​changes: In the ​space of a few weeks, ​stockvaluation floated up by 15%.

floatnoun

uk   us   /fləʊt/
[C] (mainly UK also flotation) STOCK MARKET a ​situation in which a ​companyoffersshares for ​sale on a ​stockmarket for the first ​time: The ​stock has been one of the great out-performers of recent ​times, ​rising more than 90% since the company's float 11 ​years ago. The ​planned flotation of the new ​Internetportal has been ​postponed.a $90 billion/£350 million, etc. float Bank of China is ​poised to ​file for $8 bn float. Shares are ​currently below their 330p-a-share float ​price. Companies must ​file an ​initialregistrationstatement under the Exchange ​Act before commencing a public float.
[S] ECONOMICS a ​situation in which a ​government no ​longercontrols the ​value of its country's ​currency in relation to the ​value of other ​currencies: The float of the ​currencytriggered a ​period of turbulence in Asian ​financialmarkets.
See also
[U] BANKING money that becomes ​available for a ​bank to ​spend before ​customers' ​cheques are ​paid: The ​speed of ​electronicprocessing has all but ​eliminated the need for float.
[C] COMMERCE cash that is ​available to give as change to ​customers at the ​start of ​business each day
[C] UK MONEY →  petty cash
(Definition of float from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“float” in Business English

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