Definition of flotilla in English:



  • A small fleet of ships or boats.

    ‘a flotilla of cargo boats’
    • ‘The almost constant vision of a flotilla of ships and boats on Sydney Harbour, shown ad nauseam on Foxtel today, proves that point.’
    • ‘You are unlikely to see him but can tell when he is in residence by the flotilla of navy ships patrolling just offshore.’
    • ‘We had a terrific send off with bands playing and a flotilla around the ship.’
    • ‘Not far away is Gangzihou Bathing Beach, where you can watch flotillas of container ships power out to sea.’
    • ‘Weeks later on June 4, the flotilla of ships put to sea sailed but rough weather forced Allied commanders to abandon the trip.’
    • ‘They are always escorted by an extensive flotilla of other ships.’
    • ‘Once at sea, the ship will join a flotilla of military vessels that played a part in the landings in a ceremonial crossing of the Channel before berthing at Caen.’
    • ‘Cheered on by a flotilla of 30 modern boats, they set sail across the Atlantic on a voyage expected to last up to five months.’
    • ‘US officials had said that dolphins, first used in Vietnam, were a far better bet than all the technology on board the flotilla of ships.’
    • ‘The Quays welcomed two Galway Hooker sailing boats and a flotilla of sailing vessels were docked at Albert Basin.’
    • ‘I finished my tour on the opposite side of Punda from the fort, where a flotilla of sailing boats was moored up on a small waterway off the main harbour.’
    • ‘Hmas Wewak was greeted on entry by flotillas of dug-out canoes skilfully paddled by locals whose ages ranged from six to 60.’
    • ‘The suspended flotilla includes modern powerboats, yachts and coracles.’
    • ‘As senior medical officer he had great difficulty certifying the captain of another ship in the flotilla when the stress proved too much for him.’
    • ‘CMDR McCourt thanked the flotilla of small craft, which escorted his ship.’
    • ‘‘We've arranged whole flotillas of sailboat charters in the Virgin Islands,’ said BoatU.S. Yacht Charter manager Mimi Stokes.’
    • ‘The craft will join a flotilla of Royal Navy ships and nearly one-quarter of the British Army.’
    • ‘Boaters were encouraged to turn in their old flares to any Coast Guard station in Washington and Oregon or to Coast Guard Auxiliary flotillas in the region.’
    • ‘Without the heroic efforts of locals who turned out in a flotilla of tiny boats to ferry passengers ashore, the loss of life could have been catastrophic.’
    • ‘Every morning, a flotilla of day boats leaves port in a race to be first to the prime sites around the Strait of Tiran, to the north, or Ras Mohammed, to the south.’
    navy, naval force, task force, naval task force, armada, squadron, convoy, column
    View synonyms


Early 18th century: from Spanish, diminutive of flota ‘fleet’.