Origin: oe. Flote ship, boat, fleet, as. Flota ship, fr. Fleotan to float; akin to D. Vloot fleet, g. Floss raft, Icel. Floti float, raft, fleet, Sw. Flotta.
see fleet, and cf. Flotilla, Flotsam, plover.
1. 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. Specifically: a mass of timber or boards fastened together, and conveyed down a stream by the current; a raft.
The hollow, metallic ball of a self-acting faucet, which floats upon the water in a cistern or boiler.
The cork or quill used in angling, to support the bait line, and indicate the bite of a fish.
Anything used to buoy up whatever is liable to sink; an inflated bag or pillow used by persons learning to swim; a life preserver. This reform bill . . . Had been used as a float by the conservative ministry. (j. P. Peters)
2. A float board. See float board (below).
3. A contrivance for affording a copious stream of water to the heated surface of an object of large bulk, as an anvil or die.
4. The act of flowing; flux; flow.
5. A quantity of earth, eighteen feet square and one foot deep.
6. The trowel or
tool with which the floated coat of plastering is leveled and smoothed.
7. A polishing block used in marble working; a runner.
8. A single-cut file for smoothing; a tool used by shoemakers for rasping off pegs inside a shoe.
9. A coal cart.
10. The sea; a wave. See Flote, float board, one of the boards fixed radially to the rim of an undershot water wheel or of a steamer’s paddle wheel; a vane. Float case, a siliceous stone used to rub stonework or brickwork to a smooth surface. Float valve, a valve or cock acted upon by a float. See float, 1 (b).
1. 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. Had floated that bell on the Inchcape rock. (Southey)
2. To flood; to overflow; to cover with water. Proud Pactolus floats the fruitful lands. (Dryden)
3. To pass over and level the surface of with a float while the plastering is kept wet.
4. 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.