Definition of boat people in English:

boat people

plural noun

  • Refugees who have left a country by sea, in particular the Vietnamese who fled in small boats to Hong Kong, Australia, and elsewhere after the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam in 1975.

    • ‘It was reported recently that a number of violent criminals paid big money to join the Vietnamese boat people to come to Australia.’
    • ‘Then and now, the government's treatment of refugees was a hot issue, and Dolce wrote a protest song about the sufferings of the Vietnamese boat people.’
    • ‘He plays the neglected child of an alcoholic mother who fights for better conditions among Hong Kong's boat people.’
    • ‘When boat people arrive to flee tyranny in other South East Asian countries they are treated as if they are rough criminals.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the humanitarian thing to do would be for Australia to accept the boat people.’
    • ‘Look, he wrote, the Afghan boat people fled persecution and would, until the war, have been found to be refugees.’
    • ‘Neither major player has proposed a real solution to stopping illegal boat people coming to Australia.’
    • ‘Except for a small community of former boat people, Vietnam has no supportive overseas ethnic connection.’
    • ‘Nauru said it could take three months to process the boat people's refugee claims.’
    • ‘They are more worried about a probable influx of North Korean boat people.’
    • ‘Despite reports the boat people are bound for Australia, the government is not certain of their destination, the minister said.’
    • ‘This is surprising in view of the experience gained in dealing with the Vietnamese boat people some decades ago.’
    • ‘Around 8,000 boat people have arrived in Australia in the past two years, a small number by international comparisons.’
    • ‘It details the life of boat people who escaped from Vietnam, and in this case, reaching America, the supposed land of milk and honey.’
    • ‘She wanted refugee boat people given five year temporary visas instead of permanent residence.’
    • ‘Like North Sea oil, Vietnamese boat people, German wine and inflation - it was everywhere at the time.’
    • ‘The rules will be tougher than under Australian law, but then, most of the boat people ARE refugees.’
    • ‘Some of the world's best players grew up as pampered bourgeoisie, others were Vietnamese boat people.’
    • ‘The events of the last month concerning boat people seeking to enter Australia have been for me among the most distressing for many years.’
    • ‘Haunted by their experiences as boat people escaping from Vietnam, the family is separated by guilt, shame and anger.’


boat people

/ˈbōt ˌpēpəl/