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buoy

noun

verb

  1. (float)  to float on the surface of water
    Type of: float
  2. (hold up)  to keep afloat
    Synonyms: buoy up. Type of: hold up
  3. (mark)  to mark with a buoy
    Type of: mark

Etymology summary

perhaps from either Old French buie or Middle Dutch boeye, both from West...
(Source: Online Etymology)  [more]

Definition references  (+images)

Wikipedia:

Buoy

a floating device that can have many purposes. It can be anchored or allowed to drift with the sea wave. The word, of Old French or Middle Dutch origin, is now most commonly pronounced in UK English, although some orthoepists have traditionally... (42 of 1453 words, pronunciations, 11 images)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Buoy

Britannica Encyclopedia:

buoy [flotation device]

floating object anchored at a definite location to guide or warn mariners, to mark positions of submerged objects, or to moor vessels in lieu of ... (25 of 148 words, 2 images)

www​.britannica​.com​/E​Bchecked​/topic​/84853​/buoy

New World Dictionary:

buoy | mooring buoy [sense-specific]

a floating object anchored in a lake, river, etc. to mark a channel, warn ... | "life buoy" | to mark or provide with a buoy | to keep afloat: usually ... (28 of 121 words, 5 definitions, pronunciation, 1 image)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/buoy

Merriam-Webster:

buoy [entry 1, noun] | life buoy [synonym, sense-specific] | float [synonym, sense-specific]

"float" [sense-specific] ; especially, a floating object moored to the bottom to mark a channel or something (as a shoal) lying under the water | ... (24 of 72 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation, 1 image)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/buoy

buoy [entry 2, verb] | support [synonym, sense-specific] | float [synonym, sense-specific] | uplift [synonym, sense-specific]

to mark by or as if by a buoy | to keep afloat ; "support", "uplift" | to raise the spirits of [used with "up"] | "float" [used with "up"] (27 of 82 words, 4 definitions, 2 usage examples)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/buoy show=1

Collins Dictionary:

buoy [United States] | hearten [synonym, sense-specific]

a distinctively shaped and coloured float, anchored to the bottom, for ... | [transitive, followed by] up to prevent from sinking | [transitive, ... (21 of 548 words, 5 definitions, 10 usage examples, pronunciations)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/buoy

Columbia Encyclopedia:

buoy

float anchored in navigable waters to mark channels and indicate dangers to navigation (isolated rocks, mine fields, cables, and the like). The shape, ... (23 of 207 words, pronunciation)

www​.infoplease​.com​/ce​6​/history​/A​0809460​.html

Oxford Dictionary:

buoy | buoyed | buoyage [derived]

an anchored float serving as a navigation mark, to show reefs or other hazards, or for mooring. | keep (someone or something) afloat | make (someone) ... (24 of 157 words, 5 definitions, 4 usage examples, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/buoy

American Heritage Dictionary:

buoy | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle] | buoys [3rd-person singular present]

A float moored in water to mark a location, warn of danger, or indicate a navigational channel. | A life buoy. | To keep afloat or aloft | To maintain ... (27 of 111 words, 6 definitions, 3 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/buoy

Random House Dictionary:

buoy

[nautical] a distinctively shaped and marked float, sometimes carrying a ... | a life buoy. | to keep afloat or support by or as if by a life buoy; ... (27 of 107 words, 6 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/buoy

Macmillan British Dictionary:

buoy [transitive, often passive, verb] | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle] | buoys [3rd-person singular present] | buoy up

[economics] to help a company, market, or economy to be more successful ; to encourage someone and make them feel more confident | to keep something ... (25 of 78 words, 2 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/buoy 6

buoy [countable] | buoys [plural]

an object that floats on water to show ships where it's safe and where there is danger (17 of 43 words, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/buoy

Wiktionary:

buoy | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle] | buoys [3rd-person singular present]

[nautical] A float moored in water to mark a location, warn of danger, or indicate a navigational channel. | A life-buoy. | [transitive] To keep afloat or aloft. | [transitive] To support or maintain at a high level. | [transitive] To mark with a buoy. (41 of 62 words, 5 definitions, pronunciations)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/buoy

Cambridge Dictionary:

buoy [entry 1]

a floating object on the top of the sea, which is used for directing ships and warning them of possible danger (21 of 26 words, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/buoy 1

buoy [entry 2]

to prevent someone or something from sinking (7 of 24 words, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/buoy 2

buoy [entry 3]

to make someone feel happier or more confident about a situation (11 of 33 words, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/buoy 3

buoy [entry 4]

to support something and make it more successful (8 of 35 words, 1 usage example, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/buoy 4

Encarta Dictionary:

buoy [entry 1] | buoys [plural] | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle]

a large anchored float, often equipped with lights or bells, that serves as a guide or warning to ships | Same as life buoy | to use a buoy to mark ... (29 of 82 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861593429​/definition​.html  [offline]

buoy [entry 2] | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle] | buoys [3rd-person singular present]

to keep something from falling or sinking (7 of 51 words, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861733257​/definition​.html  [offline]

Etymology references

Online Etymology:

buoy

First use: late 13th century

Origin: perhaps from either Old French buie or Middle Dutch boeye, both from West Germanic *baukn "beacon" (compare Old High German ... (23 of 78 etymology words)

www​.etymonline​.com​/index​.php term=buoy

Wiktionary:

buoy | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle] | buoys [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: Middle English buoy, boye ("a float"), from Middle Dutch boeye ("a float, signal") or Middle French bouee, boue ("a float, marker, buoy"; from Middle Dutch), from Old Dutch *bōkan, *boukan ("signal, ... (31 of 55 etymology words)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/buoy

New World Dictionary:

buoy

Origin: Middle English from (perhaps via Middle Dutch boeie) Old French ... | Spanish boyar, to float (15 of 31 etymology words)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/buoy

Oxford Dictionary:

buoy | buoyed

Origin: Middle English: probably from Middle Dutch boye, boeie, from a Germanic base meaning "signal". The verb is from Spanish boyar "to ... (21 of 25 etymology words)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/buoy

American Heritage Dictionary:

buoy | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle] | buoys [3rd-person singular present]

Origin: Middle English boie, from Old French boue, probably of Germanic origin; see bhā- [entry 1] in Indo-European roots.

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/buoy

Collins Dictionary:

buoy [United States]

First use: 13th century

Origin: probably of Germanic origin; compare Middle Dutch boeie, boeye; see beacon

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/buoy

Merriam-Webster:

buoy [entry 1, noun]

First use: 13th century

Origin: Middle English boye, probably from Middle Dutch boeye; akin to Old High German bouhhan sign

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/buoy

Encarta Dictionary:

buoy [entry 2] | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle] | buoys [3rd-person singular present]

First use: Late 16th century

Origin: Spanish boyar "to float" from boya "buoy"

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861733257​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio references

Collins Dictionary:

buoy [United States]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "buoy"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/buoy

Macmillan British Dictionary:

buoy [transitive, often passive, verb] | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle] | buoys [3rd-person singular present]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "buoy"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/buoy 6

buoy [countable] | buoys [plural]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "buoy"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/buoy

Macmillan American Dictionary:

buoy [transitive, often passive, verb] | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle] | buoys [3rd-person singular present]

Audio 1: North American pronunciation of "buoy"

Audio 2: North American pronunciation of "buoy"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/buoy 6

buoy [countable] | buoys [plural]

Audio 1: North American pronunciation of "buoy"

Audio 2: North American pronunciation of "buoy"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/buoy

Cambridge Dictionary:

buoy [entry 4]

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "buoy"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "buoy"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/buoy 4

the Free Dictionary:

buoy

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "buoy"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "buoy"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "buoy" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/buoy

Google Dictionary:

buoy | buoys [plural] | buoyed [past tense] | buoying [present participle]

Audio: English pronunciation of "buoy"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=buoy

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

buoy

Audio: North American pronunciation of "buoy"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=buoy​0001 word=buoy

buoy

Audio: North American pronunciation of "buoy"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=buoy​0002 word=buoy

YourDictionary Audio:

buoy

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "buoy" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/buoy

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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