Definition of canoe in English:



  • A light, narrow boat with pointed ends and no keel, propelled with a paddle or paddles.

    • ‘The oldest such finds, including wooden canoes and paddles, come from northern Europe and date to at most 9,000 years ago.’
    • ‘You can hike through the forest or along deserted beaches, or potter about in small boats or canoes.’
    • ‘Ships from London had to be unloaded and the trade goods and supplies stored in warehouses at the ports or directly loaded into canoes and boats for shipment to posts.’
    • ‘Early applications of aluminum were mainly in canoes and small fishing boats, in which aluminum is now the dominant material.’
    • ‘Hundreds of people headed for the annual event, either taking to canoes or sailing boats or enjoying a range of activities, including a craft fair and a farmers' market.’
    • ‘Most of the vessels in the area are canoes and powered banana boats used for fishing and ferrying people.’
    • ‘There are to be no restrictions at all to ensure that premier salmon rivers like the Tay, so vital to the rural economy, are not disrupted by canoes and river rafts.’
    • ‘Dragon boats are long, elaborately decorated canoes with a dragon head and tail.’
    • ‘For the energetic, pedal boats, rowing boats, canoes and rafts, will be available for hire throughout the weekend.’
    • ‘Instruction is given in the use of kayaks, two-seater canoes and motor boats.’
    • ‘On both lakes you can rent rowing boats and Canadian canoes, and spend the day on the water, fishing.’
    • ‘I watch rice being planted, traditional canoes paddled in peacoloured swamps and monks in saffron robes walking along red dirt roads.’
    • ‘The Pemon also make wooden dugout and bark canoes, paddles, and bows, and they weave hammocks and baby carriers.’
    • ‘More fatalities occurred on canoes and kayaks than on personal watercraft, but the highest number occurred on open motorboats.’
    • ‘Their boats are outrigger canoes, and outboard engines are not allowed.’
    • ‘Tourists paddle canoes and kayaks, swim and pursue elusive trout in these waters.’
    • ‘Over 60 volunteers braved the flood waters in canoes, boats and vessels of all shapes and sizes as the search continued yesterday.’
    • ‘Further, a kayak has a rudder, making it easier to steer the boat, while a canoe does not.’
    • ‘It was so big that Newman had to use a canoe paddle from his river boat to stir it.’
    • ‘Tongans were fierce warriors and skilled navigators whose outrigger canoes could carry up to two hundred people.’
    kayak, dugout, outrigger
    View synonyms


  • Travel in or paddle a canoe.

    ‘he had once canoed down the Nile’
    • ‘My first activity of the day was to run the Eucalyptus trail twice round as the staff canoed to work and parked their dugout canoes in the reeds.’
    • ‘In Ramakrishapur village, we met three Onge men who had canoed to the settlement to buy fishhooks and a knife for cutting branches in the forests.’
    • ‘I hesitate to say that we canoed, however, because that implies we exerted ourselves by paddling our boats down the river.’
    • ‘I have swum in, canoed, windsurfed and sailed on the lake for many years and the biggest hassle for me has never been fast and noisy speedboats.’
    • ‘If you've never canoed and camped in Minnesota's Boundary Waters, or on the Canadian side, in the Quetico region, you don't know what a beautiful week we shall be having.’
    • ‘By the time they made it home, he and the rest of the party had walked 800 km, canoed 70 km and ridden almost 100 km on horseback.’
    • ‘I first went wilderness canoeing with my grandfather at age four and have paddled thousands of miles since, including the length of the Mississippi.’
    • ‘He and his commandos had already struck a blow for Britain in September 1943 with Operation Jaywick, when they canoed into Singapore harbour and sank seven ships.’
    • ‘The Ivory Billed Woodpecker lives on, found by a man canoeing alone in the backwaters.’
    • ‘We've canoed on flooded rivers, but nothing like that.’
    • ‘Mark Whittaker, 38, of Hazel Grove, Clayton-le-Moors, canoed through the Amazon rainforest two years ago to raise money for the National Deaf Children's Society.’
    • ‘We canoed across the lake, through the water reeds which the Finns make into small pipes.’
    • ‘Also, the River Chasm crossed my path, and I canoed on that until the tributary ended in Coulombe.’
    • ‘Joe Creek, which spills into the Pacific here, is a wonderful spot to canoe or kayak.’
    • ‘Six years ago I went on an Outward Bound trip in which I hiked 10-20 miles a day, whitewater canoed for two days, then carried my canoe out of the gorge on my back and ran a 10k.’
    • ‘From dawn to dusk they ran, swam, canoed and cycled around North Yorkshire in a trial of stamina and skill.’
    • ‘He cycled, canoed or walked from one Munro to the next, covering 1,639 miles and wearing out three pairs of boots.’
    • ‘I have canoed, fished, sailed and more recently I have become qualified in powerboats.’
    • ‘Since then, traveling with several different partners, I've cycled and canoed through Canada and Alaska, rowed the Bering Sea, and trekked, skied, and biked 14,000 miles across Eurasia.’
    • ‘Claims that Puerto Rican protesters planned to canoe out to hinder firings proved unfounded.’


Mid 16th century: from Spanish canoa, from Arawak, from Carib canaoua.