1. 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.
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. Tempering 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. [Obs.]
5. A quantity of earth, eighteen feet square and one foot deep. [Obs.]
6. Plastering 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. [Eng.]
10. The sea; a wave. See Flote, n.
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 Naut., a caisson used for lifting a ship.
Float copper or Float gold Mining, fine particles of metallic copper or of gold suspended in water, and thus liable to be lost.
Float ore, water-worn particles of ore; fragments of vein material found on the surface, away from the vein outcrop. --Raymond.
Float stone Arch., 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).
Float, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Floated; p. pr. & vb. n. Floating.]
1. To rest on the surface of any fluid; to swim; to be buoyed up.
The ark no more now floats, but seems on ground. --Milton.
Three blustering nights, borne by the southern blast,
I floated. --Dryden.
2. 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.
They stretch their broad plumes and float upon the wind. --Pope.
There seems a floating whisper on the hills. --Byron.
Float, v. t.
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. Plastering 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.
n 1: the time interval between the deposit of a check in a bank
and its payment
2: the number of shares outstanding and available for trading
by the public
3: a drink with ice cream floating in it [syn: ice-cream soda,
4: an elaborate display mounted on a platform carried by a
truck (or pulled by a truck) in a procession or parade
5: a hand tool with a flat face used for smoothing and
finishing the surface of plaster or cement or stucco [syn:
6: something that remains on the surface of a liquid
v 1: 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" [syn: drift,
be adrift, blow]
2: be afloat; stay on a liquid surface; not sink [syn: swim]
3: set afloat; "He floated the logs down the river"; "The boy
floated his toy boat on the pond"
4: circulate or discuss tentatively; test the waters with; "The
Republicans are floating the idea of a tax reform"
5: move lightly, as if suspended; "The dancer floated across
6: put into the water; "float a ship"
7: make the surface of level or smooth; "float the plaster"
8: allow (currencies) to fluctuate; "The government floated the
ruble for a few months"
9: convert from a fixed point notation to a floating point
notation; "float data"