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Float or floating may refer to:






See also

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

FLOAT (in O. Eng. floc and !iota, in the verbal form fleotan; the Teutonic root is flut-, another form of flu-, seen in "flow," cf. "fleet"; the root is seen in Gr. 7rX u', to sail, Lat. pluere, to rain; the Lat, fluere and fluctus, wave, is not connected), the action of moving on the surface of water, or through the air. The word is used also of a wave, or the flood of the tide, river, backwater or stream, and of any object floating in water, as a mass of ice or weeds; a movable landing-stage, a flat-bottomed boat, or a raft, or, in fishing, of the cork or quill used to support a baited line or fishing-net. It is also applied to the hollow or inflated organ by means of which certain animals, such as the "Portuguese man-of-war," swim, to a hollow metal ball or piece of whinstone, &c., used to regulate the level of water in a tank or boiler, and to a piece of ivory in the cistern of a barometer. "Float" is also the name of one of the boards of a paddle-wheel or water-wheel. In a theatrical sense, it is used to denote the footlights. The word is also applied to something broad, level and shallow, as a wooden frame attached to a cart or wagon for the purpose of increasing the carrying capacity; and to a special kind of low, broad cart for carrying heavy weights, and to a platform on wheels used for shows in a procession. The term is applied also to various tools, especially to many kinds of trowels used in plastering. It is also used of a dock where vessels may float, as at Bristol, and of the trenches used in "floating" land. In geology and mining, loose rock or ore brought down by water is known as "float," and in tin-mining it is applied to a large trough used for the smelted tin. In weaving the word is used of the passing of weft threads over part of the warp without being woven in with it, also of the threads so passed. In the United States a voter not attached to any particular party and open to bribery is called a "float" or "floater."

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:






Old English flotian (to float), from Proto-Germanic *flutojanan. Compare Old Norse flota, Icelandic fljóta and Mittle Dutch vloten.




float (plural floats)

  1. 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. A tool similar to a rasp, used in various trades
  3. 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. An elaborately decorated trailer or vehicle, intended for display in a parade or pageant.
    That float covered in roses is very pretty.
  5. (British) A small battery-powered vehicle used for local deliveries, especially in the term milk float.
  6. (finance) 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. (finance, Australian, and other Commonwealth countries?) 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.Australian Securities and Investments Commission financial tips article, Buying shares in a float [1]
  8. (banking) 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. (insurance) Premiums taken in but not yet paid out.
    We make a lot of interest from our nightly float.
  10. (programming) Short form of floating-point number.
    That routine should not have used an int; it should be a float.
  11. 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.
  12. A small sum of money put in a cashier's till at the start of business to enable change to be made.


Shares offered to the public:

Derived terms



to float

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to float (third-person singular simple present floats, present participle floating, simple past and past participle floated)

  1. (intransitive) 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.
    The boat floated on the water.
    The oil floated on the vinegar.
  2. (intransitive) To be capable of floating.
    That boat doesn't float.
    Oil floats on vinegar.
  3. (intransitive) To drift gently through the air.
    The balloon floated off into the distance.
  4. (intransitive) To drift or wander aimlessly.
    I'm not sure where they went... they're floating around here somewhere.
    Images from my childhood floated through my mind.
  5. (intransitive) To move in a particular direction with the liquid in which one is floating
    I'd love to just float downstream.
  6. (intransitive) To move in a fluid manner.
    The dancer floated gracefully around the stage.
  7. (intransitive) To automatically adjust a parameter as related parameters change.
  8. (intransitive, finance) (of currencies) To have an exchange value determined by the markets as opposed to by rule.
    The yen floats against the dollar.
  9. (intransitive) (colloquial) (of an idea or scheme) To be viable.
    That's a daft idea... it'll never float.
  10. (transitive) To cause something to be suspended in a liquid of greater density; as, to float a boat.
  11. (transitive) To propose (an idea) for consideration.
    I floated the idea of free ice-cream on Fridays, but no one was interested.
  12. (transitive) To extend a short-term loan to.
    Could you float me $50 until payday?
  13. (transitive, finance) To allow (the exchange value of a currency) to be determined by the markets.
    The government floated the pound in January.
    Increased pressure on Thailand's currency, the baht, in 1997 led to a crisis that forced the government to float the currency.
  14. (transitive, finance, Australian, and other Commonwealth countries?) 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.
    2005, He floated the company on the Milan Stock Exchange last December and sold 29 per cent of its shares, mostly to American investors. — article by Dewi Cooke, The Age newspaper, 21 June 2005 (about Mario Moretti Polegato) [2]
  15. (transitive) To use a float (tool).
    It is time to float this horse's teeth.


cause to be suspended

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
  • Ido: flotacar
  • Mongolian: хөвөх (hövöh)



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