Definition of coracle in English:



  • (especially in Wales and Ireland) a small round boat made of wickerwork covered with a watertight material, propelled with a paddle.

    • ‘Hire a coracle, a buffalo-hide-and-wicker boat, or wade over.’
    • ‘The suspended flotilla includes modern powerboats, yachts and coracles.’
    • ‘He wrote a very funny piece about going on a boat from Naples to Capri, and when all the tourists went into the Blue Grotto in tiny coracles, he remained on the boat, thinking how nice it would be if they never came out again.’
    • ‘A circular bamboo boat lined with buffalo hide, the coracle is a common means of transport on the Kabini and Kaveri rivers.’
    • ‘The falls is mainly divided into three sections and can be reached with the help of rafts known as coracles.’
    • ‘Reepicheep hops into his coracle and paddles over the wave to the paradise beyond.’
    • ‘The timber was accompanied on its way by men in coracles who then walked the 40 miles back from the sea.’
    • ‘They paddled inshore in a coracle of skins which, for the most part, lay upturned on the deck like the hollow carcass of some giant turtle.’
    • ‘In its original form, this involved saints like Columba taking to his coracle (that bobbing teacup of a leather boat, without rudder or oars), trusting the waves to carry him wherever they might.’
    • ‘The great thing about the coracles is that if you do hook a big fish that takes you down rapids you can go after them by boat, rather than simply jumping in and swimming!’
    • ‘In under a decade, the steam yacht would be as passé as the coracle…’
    • ‘He saw one of my handmade laundry baskets, and he remarked that it reminded him of a miniature version of the boats, or coracles, his uncle once had built in Ireland.’
    • ‘I'd once built a crude coracle from hazel sticks bound together with string and covered in an old tent fly sheet; it had worked but I felt that I still had plenty to learn.’
    • ‘A circular boat, woven with bamboo and lined with buffalo hide, the coracle offers a leisurely drift, allowing you to watch hornbills flying against the darkening sky, returning to nest in the tall trees close to the river.’
    • ‘From Hampi, round, flat-bottomed boats called coracles ferry people across the river to a rocky jetty, but that is only the beginning of the trip to the Anjanadri temple.’
    • ‘In the river valleys Welsh fishermen used coracles until quite recently (there were coracle users on the River Severn until the 1930s).’
    • ‘Dairy, cattle, and sheep farming still thrive, and the Welsh still fish in their traditional boats - called coracles - constructed from willow and hazel branches covered with hide.’
    • ‘In the mid 1990s he began to research the methods of coracle building used by the craftsmen coracle makers of rural Wales.’


Mid 16th century: from Welsh corwgl, cwrwgl, related to Scottish Gaelic and Irish curach small boat; compare with currach.