What does float mean?

Definitions for float

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word float.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. floatnoun

    the time interval between the deposit of a check in a bank and its payment

  2. floatnoun

    the number of shares outstanding and available for trading by the public

  3. ice-cream soda, ice-cream float, floatnoun

    a drink with ice cream floating in it

  4. floatnoun

    an elaborate display mounted on a platform carried by a truck (or pulled by a truck) in a procession or parade

  5. float, plasterer's floatnoun

    a hand tool with a flat face used for smoothing and finishing the surface of plaster or cement or stucco

  6. floatnoun

    something that floats on the surface of water

  7. air bladder, swim bladder, floatverb

    an air-filled sac near the spinal column in many fishes that helps maintain buoyancy

  8. float, drift, be adrift, blowverb

    be in motion due to some air or water current

    "The leaves were blowing in the wind"; "the boat drifted on the lake"; "The sailboat was adrift on the open sea"; "the shipwrecked boat drifted away from the shore"

  9. float, swimverb

    be afloat either on or below a liquid surface and not sink to the bottom

  10. floatverb

    set afloat

    "He floated the logs down the river"; "The boy floated his toy boat on the pond"

  11. floatverb

    circulate or discuss tentatively; test the waters with

    "The Republicans are floating the idea of a tax reform"

  12. floatverb

    move lightly, as if suspended

    "The dancer floated across the stage"

  13. floatverb

    put into the water

    "float a ship"

  14. floatverb

    make the surface of level or smooth

    "float the plaster"

  15. floatverb

    allow (currencies) to fluctuate

    "The government floated the ruble for a few months"

  16. floatverb

    convert from a fixed point notation to a floating point notation

    "float data"


  1. Floatnoun

    (Banking) The free use of money for a time between occurrence of a transaction (such as depositing a check or a purchase made using a credit card), and the time when funds are withdrawn to cover the transaction; also, the money made available between transactions in that manner.

  2. Floatnoun

    a vehicle on which an exhibit or display is mounted, driven or pulled as part of a parade. The float often is based on a large flat platform, and may contain a very elaborate structure with a tableau or people.

  3. Floatnoun

    Anything which floats or rests on the surface of a fluid, as to sustain weight, or to indicate the height of the liquid surface, or mark the place of, something. Specifically: (a) A mass of timber or boards fastened together, and conveyed down a stream by the current; a raft. (b) The hollow, metallic ball of a self-acting faucet, which floats upon the water in a cistern or boiler. (c) The cork or quill used in angling, to support the bait line, and indicate the bite of a fish. (d) Anything used to buoy up whatever is liable to sink; an inflated bag or pillow used by persons learning to swim; a life preserver. (e) The hollow, metallic ball which floats on the fuel in the fuel tank of a vehicle to indicate the level of the fuel surface, and thus the amount of fuel remaining. (f) A hollow elongated tank mounted under the wing of a seaplane which causes the plane to float when resting on the surface of the water.


  1. floatnoun

    A buoyant device used to support something in water or another liquid.

    Attach the float and the weight to the fishing line, above the hook.

  2. floatnoun

    A tool similar to a rasp, used in various trades

  3. floatnoun

    A sort of trowel used for finishing concrete surfaces.

    When pouring a new driveway, you can use a two-by-four as a float.

  4. floatnoun

    An elaborately decorated trailer or vehicle, intended for display in a parade or pageant.

    That float covered in roses is very pretty.

  5. floatnoun

    A small battery-powered vehicle used for local deliveries, especially in the term milk float.

  6. floatnoun

    Funds committed to be paid but not yet paid.

    Our bank does a nightly sweep of accounts, to adjust the float so we stay within our reserves limit.

  7. floatnoun

    An offering of shares in a company (or units in a trust) to members of the public, normally followed by a listing on a stock exchange.

    2006, You don't actually need a broker to buy shares in a float when a company is about to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. uE00026976uE001 Australian Securities and Investments Commission financial tips article, Buying shares in a float

  8. floatnoun

    The total amount of checks/cheques or other drafts written against a bank account but not yet cleared and charged against the account.

    No sir, your current float is not taken into account, when assets are legally garnished.

  9. floatnoun

    Premiums taken in but not yet paid out.

    We make a lot of interest from our nightly float.

  10. floatverb

    Of an object or substance, to be supported by a liquid of greater density than the object so as that part of the object or substance remains above the surface.

  11. floatverb

    To cause something to be suspended in a liquid of greater density; as, to float a boat.

  12. floatverb

    To be capable of floating.

  13. floatverb

    To move in a particular direction with the liquid in which one is floating

    I'd love to just float downstream.

  14. floatverb

    To drift or wander aimlessly.

  15. floatverb

    To drift gently through the air.

    The balloon floated off into the distance.

  16. floatverb

    To move in a fluid manner.

    The dancer floated gracefully around the stage.

  17. floatverb

    (of an idea or scheme) To be viable.

    That's a daft idea... it'll never float.

  18. floatverb

    To propose (an idea) for consideration.

    I floated the idea of free ice-cream on Fridays, but no one was interested.

  19. floatnoun

    Short form of floating-point number.

    That routine should not have used an int; it should be a float.

  20. floatnoun

    A soft beverage with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream floating in it.

    It's true - I don't consider anything other than root-beer with vanilla ice-cream to be a "real" float.

  21. floatnoun

    A small sum of money put in a cashier's till at the start of business to enable change to be made.

  22. floatnoun

    A maneuver where a player calls on the flop or turn with a weak hand, with the intention of bluffing after the next community card.

  23. floatverb

    To automatically adjust a parameter as related parameters change.

  24. floatverb

    (of currencies) To have an exchange value determined by the markets as opposed to by rule.

    The yen floats against the dollar.

  25. floatverb

    To allow (the exchange value of a currency) to be determined by the markets.

  26. floatverb

    To issue or sell shares in a company (or units in a trust) to members of the public, followed by listing on a stock exchange.

  27. floatverb

    To use a float (tool).

    It is time to float this horse's teeth.

  28. floatverb

    To perform a float.

  29. Etymology: From floten, from flotian, from flutōnan, from pleud-. Cognate with vloten, vlotten, Middle Dutch vloten, Old Norse flota, Icelandic fljóta, fleotan.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Floatnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Our trust in the Almighty is, that with us contentions are now at their highest float. Richard Hooker, Preface.

    Of this kind is some disposition of bodies to rotation, particularly from East to West; of which kind we conceive the main float and refloat of the sea is, which is by consent of the universe, as part of the diurnal motion. Francis Bacon, Nat. History.

    They took it for a ship, and, as it came nearer, for a boat; but it proved a float of weeds and rushes. Roger L'Estrange, Fables.

    A passage for the weary people make;
    With osier floats the standing water strow,
    Of massy stones make bridges, if it flow. John Dryden, Virgil.

    You will find this to be a very choice bait, sometimes casting a little of it into the place where your float swims. Izaak Walton.

    Banks are measured by the float or floor, which is eighteen foot square, and one deep. John Mortimer, Husbandry.

  2. To Floatverb

    To cover with water.

    Proud Pactolus floats the fruitful lands,
    And leaves a rich manure of golden sands. John Dryden, Æn.

    Venice looks, at a distance, like a great town half floated by a deluge. Joseph Addison, Remarks on Italy.

    Now smoaks with show’rs the misty mountain-ground,
    And floated fields lie undistinguish’d round. Alexander Pope, Statius.

    The vast parterres a thousand hands shall make:
    Lo! Cobham comes, and floats them with a lake. Alexander Pope.

  3. To FLOATverb

    Etymology: flotter, French.

    When the sea was calm, all boats alike
    Shew’d mastership in floating. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    The ark no more now floats, but seems on ground,
    Fast on the top of some high mountain fix’d. John Milton, P. L.

    That men, being drowned and sunk, do float the ninth day, when their gall breaketh, are popular affirmations. Brown.

    Three blust’ring nights, born by the southern blast,
    I floated; and discover’d land at last. John Dryden, Æn. b. vi.

    His rosy wreath was dropt not long before,
    Born by the tide of wine, and floating on the floor. Dryden.

    On frothy billows thousands float the stream,
    In cumb’rous mail, with love of farther shore. Phillips.

    Carp are very apt to float away with fresh water. John Mortimer.

    What divine monsters, O ye gods, were these
    That float in air, and fly upon the seas! John Dryden, Ind. Emp.

    Swift they descend, with wing to wing conjoin’d,
    Stretch their broad plumes, and float upon the wind. Alexander Pope.

    Floating visions make not deep impressions enough to leave in the mind clear, distinct, lasting ideas. John Locke.


  1. float

    In computer programming, a float, short for floating-point number, refers to a numerical data type that includes fractional or decimal values. It is most often used when precision is essential such as in mathematical calculations and graphics. The term "floating point" refers to the fact that the decimal point can "float" throughout the number, as opposed to being in a fixed position.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Floatverb

    anything which floats or rests on the surface of a fluid, as to sustain weight, or to indicate the height of the surface, or mark the place of, something

  2. Floatverb

    a mass of timber or boards fastened together, and conveyed down a stream by the current; a raft

  3. Floatverb

    the hollow, metallic ball of a self-acting faucet, which floats upon the water in a cistern or boiler

  4. Floatverb

    the cork or quill used in angling, to support the bait line, and indicate the bite of a fish

  5. Floatverb

    anything used to buoy up whatever is liable to sink; an inflated bag or pillow used by persons learning to swim; a life preserver

  6. Floatverb

    a float board. See Float board (below)

  7. Floatverb

    a contrivance for affording a copious stream of water to the heated surface of an object of large bulk, as an anvil or die

  8. Floatverb

    the act of flowing; flux; flow

  9. Floatverb

    a quantity of earth, eighteen feet square and one foot deep

  10. Floatverb

    the trowel or tool with which the floated coat of plastering is leveled and smoothed

  11. Floatverb

    a polishing block used in marble working; a runner

  12. Floatverb

    a single-cut file for smoothing; a tool used by shoemakers for rasping off pegs inside a shoe

  13. Floatverb

    a coal cart

  14. Floatverb

    the sea; a wave. See Flote, n

  15. Floatnoun

    to rest on the surface of any fluid; to swim; to be buoyed up

  16. Floatnoun

    to move quietly or gently on the water, as a raft; to drift along; to move or glide without effort or impulse on the surface of a fluid, or through the air

  17. Floatverb

    to cause to float; to cause to rest or move on the surface of a fluid; as, the tide floated the ship into the harbor

  18. Floatverb

    to flood; to overflow; to cover with water

  19. Floatverb

    to pass over and level the surface of with a float while the plastering is kept wet

  20. Floatverb

    to support and sustain the credit of, as a commercial scheme or a joint-stock company, so as to enable it to go into, or continue in, operation

  21. Etymology: [OE. flotien, flotten, AS. flotian to float, swim, fr. fletan. See Float, n.]


  1. Float

    A float is a decorated platform, either built on a vehicle or towed behind one, which is a component of many festive parades, such as those of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Carnival of Viareggio, the Maltese Carnival, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Key West Fantasy Fest parade, the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the 500 Festival Parade in Indianapolis, the United States Presidential Inaugural Parade, and the Tournament of Roses Parade. For the latter event, floats are decorated entirely in flowers or other plant material.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Float

    flōt, v.i. to swim on a liquid: to be buoyed up: to move lightly and irregularly: to circulate, as a rumour: to drift about aimlessly.—v.t. to cause to swim: to cover with water: to set agoing.—n. anything swimming on water: a raft: the cork or quill on a fishing-line: a plasterer's trowel.—adj. Float′able.—ns. Float′age, Flot′age, the floating capacity of a thing: anything that floats; Float′-board, a board on the rim of an undershot water-wheel on which the water acts and moves the wheel; Float′er.—adj. Float′ing, swimming: not fixed: circulating.—n. action of the verb float: the spreading of plaster on the surface of walls.—ns. Float′ing-batt′ery, a vessel or hulk heavily armed, used in the defence of harbours or in attacks on marine fortresses; Float′ing-bridge, a bridge of rafts or beams of timber lying on the surface of the water; Float′ing-dock (see Dock); Float′ing-is′land, an aggregation of driftwood, roots, &c., capable of bearing soil, floated out from a river delta or the like; Float′ing-light, a ship, bearing a light, moored on sunken rocks, to warn seamen of danger.—adv. Float′ingly.—n. Float′-stone, a porous, sponge-like variety of quartz, so light as to float for a while on water.—adj. Float′y. [A.S. flotian, to float; Ice. flota.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. float

    [Anglo-Saxon fleot or fleet]. A place where vessels float, as at Northfleet. Also, the inner part of a ship-canal. In wet-docks ships are kept afloat while loading and discharging cargo. Two double gates, having a lock between them, allow the entry and departure of vessels without disturbing the inner level. Also, a raft or quantity of timber fastened together, to be floated along a river by a tide or current.

Suggested Resources

  1. float

    Song lyrics by float -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by float on the Lyrics.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'float' in Verbs Frequency: #735

Anagrams for float »

  1. aloft

  2. flota

How to pronounce float?

How to say float in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of float in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of float in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of float in a Sentence

  1. Elon Musk:

    I don’t think it’s that hard honestly, just float around, it’s not that hard to float around.

  2. Christopher Darlington Morley:

    Time is a flowing river. Happy those who allow themselves to be carried, unresisting, with the current. They float through easy days. They live, unquestioning, in the moment.

  3. Adam Riser:

    Ive dodged dozens of lures coming back at me, but I never even saw this one, my buddies faces had horrified looks when I looked up at them with chunks of teeth and blood falling out of my mouth. Still had an hour of the float left. Since it wasnt really hurting me, we stopped and fished a few holes before loading up.

  4. Elroy James:

    I think most krewes, particularly, I know, for Zulu, we've been very proactive, leaning in, with respect to all of the safety protocols that have been in place since the onset of this thing, our float captains are confirming our riders are vaccinated. And part of the look for the 2022 Mardi Gras season is face masks.

  5. Muhammad Ali:

    Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for float

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • يطفوArabic
  • ҡалҡыуысBashkir
  • пла́ваць, папла́ваць, паплы́ць, плыцьBelarusian
  • държа се на повърхността, нося се, плавам, буй, поплавък, мистрияBulgarian
  • flotarCatalan, Valencian
  • plout, plavatCzech
  • schwimmen, schweben, gleiten, treiben, begeben, borgen, Schwimmer, Floß, Festwagen, FloatGerman
  • φελλόςGreek
  • flotar, carrozaSpanish
  • شناورPersian
  • leijua, kellua, [[pysyä]] [[pinnalla]], lipua, ehdottaa, heittää, yleinen osakeanti, höyläraspi, raspi, paraatiauto, käteiskassa, liukuluku, pohjakassa, koho, kelluke, hierrinFinnish
  • flotter, flottant, flotteur, char, float, nombre flottantFrench
  • flotarGalician
  • lebeg, úszikHungarian
  • galleggiareItalian
  • 漂う, 飛ぶ, 浮遊する, 超える, 浮かぶ, 浮く, 浮揚物, 浮きJapanese
  • អន្ដែតKhmer
  • ಫ್ಲೋಟ್Kannada
  • 흙손Korean
  • fluctuo, floatLatin
  • tekėti, plūduriuoti, plaukti, plūdė, plaustasLithuanian
  • mānu, kārewaMāori
  • امبڠ, ambangMalay
  • မျောBurmese
  • drijven, vloeien, meedrijven, te water laten, voorstellen, vlot, soort truweel, vlottende kommagetal, rasp, vijl, praalwagenDutch
  • flutuar, pairar, boiar, boiaPortuguese
  • tuytuy, wamp'uyQuechua
  • flottarRomansh
  • pluti, plută, plutitorRomanian
  • всплыть, [[держа́ться]] [[на]] [[вода, плыть, плавать, всплывать, пари́ть, дре́йфовать, поплаво́к, мастеро́к, платфо́рма, плот, глади́лка, прави́лоRussian
  • plovakSerbo-Croatian
  • flyta, sväva, flöteSwedish
  • తేలుTelugu
  • ลอยThai
  • 浮动Chinese

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