Definition of flotilla in English:



  • A small fleet of ships or boats.

    ‘a flotilla of cargo boats’
    • ‘Hmas Wewak was greeted on entry by flotillas of dug-out canoes skilfully paddled by locals whose ages ranged from six to 60.’
    • ‘You are unlikely to see him but can tell when he is in residence by the flotilla of navy ships patrolling just offshore.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘We've arranged whole flotillas of sailboat charters in the Virgin Islands,’ said BoatU.S. Yacht Charter manager Mimi Stokes.’
    • ‘CMDR McCourt thanked the flotilla of small craft, which escorted his ship.’
    • ‘Weeks later on June 4, the flotilla of ships put to sea sailed but rough weather forced Allied commanders to abandon the trip.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They are always escorted by an extensive flotilla of other ships.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The craft will join a flotilla of Royal Navy ships and nearly one-quarter of the British Army.’
    • ‘The suspended flotilla includes modern powerboats, yachts and coracles.’
    • ‘We had a terrific send off with bands playing and a flotilla around the ship.’
    • ‘The Quays welcomed two Galway Hooker sailing boats and a flotilla of sailing vessels were docked at Albert Basin.’
    • ‘Not far away is Gangzihou Bathing Beach, where you can watch flotillas of container ships power out to sea.’
    • ‘The almost constant vision of a flotilla of ships and boats on Sydney Harbour, shown ad nauseam on Foxtel today, proves that point.’
    navy, naval force, task force, naval task force, armada, squadron, convoy, column
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Early 18th century: from Spanish, diminutive of flota ‘fleet’.