Definition of bumboat in English:



  • A small vessel carrying provisions for sale to ships in port.

    • ‘It is nice to catch glimpses of bumboats passing by while standing on Cavenagh Bridge.’
    • ‘The southern islands of Singapore are fun and interesting for the whole family to explore via bumboat.’
    • ‘Now the red swaying lanterns on the low, wide bumboats come on, making some minor huckster transformation from tawdry to quaint.’
    • ‘Those seeking a different experience altogether can visit the island of Pulau Ubin, which is reached by hiring a bumboat from the piers at Changi.’
    • ‘The bumboat service operates from 6.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. by private operators.’
    • ‘Now all but a few of the bumboats have gone and new life has been breathed into the old shophouses and godowns along the river banks.’
    • ‘You may need to book the whole bumboat to get back to mainland Singapore.’
    • ‘However, it was the area south of the Singapore River, the area where bumboats congregated and jostled for berthing space, that saw the most activity.’
    • ‘Today, tourists cruise the Singapore River in bumboats while water-skiers zig - zag down the Kallang.’
    • ‘There is no scheduled departure time but when the bumboat driver will set off when there is about 12 passengers in the queue.’
    • ‘At that time, sailors relied on bumboats for their daily needs.’
    • ‘The bumboats leave whenever there are enough people for a trip, which is fairly regularly on weekends.’
    • ‘Wooden bumboats chug in and out of the old jetty ferrying people to islands such as Pulau Ubin.’
    • ‘These bumboats were used to give tourists a tour of Colonial Singapore from the river.’
    • ‘The National Park Service office is in the village where the bumboats arrive, and you can check there.’
    • ‘The ride takes about 30 mins and you can board the bumboats at several locations along the Singapore river.’
    • ‘Take a bumboat from Changi Jetty, which is near the Changi Village Hawker Centre.’
    • ‘Cruise ships, freighters, pleasure craft, tug boats and bumboats vie for position on the river.’
    • ‘Any idea of the costs of bumboat ride per head, duration of bumboat ride and departure times?’
    • ‘Today, converted bumboats operate as river-taxis which carry sightseeing passengers, with pickup and disembarkation points along Boat Quay and Clake Quay.’


Late 17th century: from bum + boat. The term originally denoted a scavenger's boat removing refuse, etc., from ships, often also bringing produce for sale.