Definitions for quay

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word quay

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. a landing place, esp. one of solid masonry, constructed along the edge of a body of water; wharf.

Origin of quay:

1690–1700; sp. var. (after F quai) of earlier kay (also key, whence the mod. pronunciation) < OF kay, cay, akin to Sp cayo shoal. See key2

Princeton's WordNet

  1. quay(noun)

    wharf usually built parallel to the shoreline

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. quay(noun)ˈi

    a structure next to water where boats stop


  1. quay(Noun)

    A stone or concrete structure on navigable water used for loading and unloading vessels; a wharf.

  2. quay(Verb)

    To land or tie up at a quay or similar structure, especially used in the phrase "quay up".

  3. Origin: From cai, from chai (modern French: quai).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Quay(noun)

    a mole, bank, or wharf, formed toward the sea, or at the side of a harbor, river, or other navigable water, for convenience in loading and unloading vessels

  2. Quay(verb)

    to furnish with quays

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. quay

    A structure of solid construction along a shore or bank that provides berthing and generally provides cargo-handling facilities. A similar facility of open construction is called a wharf. See also wharf.


  1. Wharf

    A wharf or quay is a structure on the shore of a harbor or on the bank of a river or canal where ships may dock to load and unload cargo or passengers. Such a structure includes one or more berths, and may also include piers, warehouses, or other facilities necessary for handling the ships. A wharf commonly comprises a fixed platform, often on pilings. Commercial ports may have warehouses that serve as interim storage areas, since the typical objective is to unload and reload vessels as quickly as possible. Where capacity is sufficient a single wharf with a single berth constructed along the land adjacent to the water is normally used; where there is a need for more capacity multiple wharves, or perhaps a single large wharf with multiple berths, will instead be constructed, sometimes projecting into the water. A pier, raised over the water rather than within it, is commonly used for cases where the weight or volume of cargos will be low. Smaller and more modern wharves are sometimes built on flotation devices to keep them at the same level as the ship, even during changing tides.

Translations for quay

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a solid, usually stone, landing-place, where boats are loaded and unloaded

The boat is moored at the quay.

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