Definition of cruise in US English:



  • 1Sail about in an area without a precise destination, especially for pleasure.

    ‘they were cruising off the California coast’
    with object ‘she cruised the canals of France in a barge’
    • ‘While I had been expecting storm activity that day, I was cruising behind a headland that blocked my view of the approaching storm cell until it was too late.’
    • ‘The only sound is the purr of absurdly opulent motorised yachts cruising out of the harbour for a day messing about on the waves.’
    • ‘In a normal year, the family would be out fishing or cruising at least three times a week, she reported.’
    • ‘Since St. Lucia has a number of lovely anchorages, I like to encourage them to cruise here.’
    • ‘Imagine cruising on a perfect sailing day and suddenly staring at a 35-to 40-foot wave that comes out of nowhere.’
    • ‘While a little rubber ducky may suit well for short hops between boats in a snug cove, you may need a tougher, larger, and more seaworthy tender if you cruise to far away places.’
    • ‘Every weekend we take our youngest two children cruising, and the older kids are our racing crew.’
    • ‘All the partial owner needs to do is climb on board, cruise to his desired location, return when his time is up, and walk away when the day is done.’
    • ‘She also uses her boat to entertain and can host up to 50 people on her top deck while cruising and as many as 100 at the dock.’
    • ‘They cruised around the inshore reefs, protected from the northern desert wind and the waves that made the Red Sea infamous with international mariners plying the open water between the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal.’
    • ‘Remarkably, some 60% regularly cruised 100 miles or more from their home ports.’
    • ‘And while the calm waters were not ideal for sailing, they were perfect for cruising.’
    • ‘Boat owners can always call ahead to a marina and check on their latest price if they're cruising in an area with several fuel docks.’
    • ‘Pick up your hire boat in Lucan, on the outskirts of Dublin, and you have over 80 miles of classic, peaceful canal cruising between you and Shannon Harbour.’
    • ‘This is a great area to cruise, one that is still somewhat undeveloped and off the beaten path.’
    • ‘However, lulled by the simplicity of canal cruising, I had gotten lazy and failed to check the lock information on the chart.’
    • ‘He and his wife live aboard their 53-foot motorsailer and have cruised full-time for the last 25 years.’
    • ‘You don't have to be an experienced boater to cruise the canals of Europe.’
    • ‘I asked to be transported to a sailing yacht, cruising just offshore of that beach.’
    • ‘They are great fun to sail and perfectly suited for cruising in out-of-the-way places and shoal waters.’
    sail, steam, voyage, journey
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Take a vacation on a ship or boat following a predetermined course, usually calling in at several ports.
      • ‘The choice of cruise lines and cruise ships is pretty bewildering.’
      • ‘As such, they tend to look for high-quality getaways, such as helicopter tours of the Canadian Rockies, national park vacations and chartered small ship cruises to Costa Rica.’
      • ‘Apart from taking tourists on backwater cruises aboard kettuvallams and cruise boats, the water bodies can be used for water skiing, surfing, kayaking, etc.’
      • ‘Time was when Caribbean islands jockeyed to provide port to cruise ships brimming with free-spending tourists.’
      • ‘Now of course, as I said before, cruise ships have been held in port since yesterday.’
      • ‘Yet as we pushed off into the middle of the flow we quickly picked up speed, until moments later we were skipping across the wake of the plodding tourist boats cruising under Tower Bridge.’
      • ‘In March of last year I was on holidays cruising around the South Pacific and visiting a few of the islands.’
      • ‘Most of us who have cruised on this great ship are very sorry to see her go.’
      • ‘If variety is the spice of your life, book back-to-back cruises on different ships.’
      • ‘San Francisco, meanwhile, has emerged as an alternative departure point for longer cruises on bigger ships.’
      • ‘They recognize that, for most people, one vehicle must meet all their needs from the daily rounds to holiday cruising and the occasional recreational bush bash or beach cruise.’
      • ‘We cruised by boat over the Yangtse river for three days, from Chongquing to Yichang and passed through the three gorges.’
      • ‘Take a city bus tour, go sightseeing by tram or head for the water on one of the many boat cruises.’
      • ‘Nowadays many boats and cruise ships are deterred by the lack of an adequate harbour.’
      • ‘Here they can book one of the many candlelit dinner cruises for the following night.’
      • ‘We also went on two boat cruises, which put us ‘up close and personal’ with birds and mammals.’
      • ‘The boats were cruising up and down the river, doing tours of the concrete walls that rise up from the surface of the water, reminding the passengers to duck as they motored beneath the low bridges.’
      • ‘Industry providers were selected from the hotels, inns and villas, charter boats, cruise ships, taxis, rent-a-cars and restaurants.’
      • ‘There are a number of dolphin watch and nature boat cruises available, or you can choose to rent a kayak, canoe, or boat and take to the water yourself.’
      • ‘Excursions for the remaining 2005 cruises, including its holiday cruises, will be posted by mid-May - all of which are months earlier than ever before.’
    2. 1.2 (of a vehicle or person) travel or move slowly around without a specific destination in mind.
      ‘a police van cruised past us’
      with object ‘teenagers were aimlessly cruising the mall’
      • ‘The young couple was cruising slowly in the Raffles Hills housing estate.’
      • ‘Taxis are plentiful and can be found at major hotels as well as in main tourist areas or cruising the streets.’
      • ‘Most of the time crocodilians cruise slowly through the water, holding their legs against their body to reduce drag.’
      • ‘A few people stumbled out of the small selection of pubs along the street, but beyond that and a few handful of teenagers cruising slowly up and down the seafront nothing was happening.’
      • ‘They cruise slowly through the water, cavernous mouths agape, skin covered in a foul-smelling mucous and often trailing long threads of algae from their long pectoral fins.’
      • ‘A police patrol car cruised by slowly a couple of times, but on that particular afternoon, there were no signs of any untoward behaviour.’
      • ‘Many here believe that hackers are already cruising around metropolitan areas in cars and on bicycles, with their laptops listening for the beacons of wireless networks.’
      • ‘Basking sharks cruise slowly at about two knots with their mouths wide open, capturing tiny planktonic creatures in thousands of filters called gill rakers as the water passes through the gill slits.’
      • ‘She slowly cruised around the city, not intending to go anywhere in particular.’
      • ‘She has been cruising around aimlessly for a while now but it is going to get dark soon and the one person she needs to talk to is Greg.’
      • ‘The address that Rod had been given was a 20 mile drive away and it was not until nearly three o'clock that he cruised slowly past the terraced houses where he had been told to find the car.’
      • ‘A bull stella sea-lion cruises effortlessly past against the current, easily twice as big as the California sea-lions I have dived with at other locations.’
      • ‘We drove into the city and cruised around aimlessly for an hour or so.’
      • ‘I looked up to see a huge white shark cruising past me, only about 5 meters away.’
      • ‘Moose and I cruised through the shopping mall, sharing an ice cream cone and getting some reading material (that neither of us has time to read) from Coles.’
      • ‘I never dreamed slowly cruising through a residential neighborhood could be so incredibly dangerous!’
      • ‘We drove back to Algiers, and cruised slowly through the neighborhood.’
    3. 1.3informal Wander about a place in search of a casual sexual partner.
      ‘he spends his time cruising and just hanging out in New Orleans’
      with object ‘he cruised the gay bars of Los Angeles’
      • ‘Now they are cruising Brighton with a view to picking something up.’
      • ‘It's not THAT different from cruising in bars or online.’
      • ‘His style was to wait for a worthwhile girl, not spending every Saturday night cruising the streets for a hot babe.’
      • ‘While these nooks provided the cover for sexual activity, cruising also occurred amongst men on their way in and out of the park along the trails.’
      • ‘He cruises the nightlife of Buenos Aires and falls into the world of S & M and leather.’
      • ‘I wasn't into ‘gay’ - cruising, discos, the tubs, drugs, Fire Island, and all that.’
      • ‘The terminology, rules, cruising areas, establishments, and sex workers themselves tend to change.’
      • ‘They have a flash little car, and cruise the streets to pick up young ladies.’
      • ‘During his senior year, the two men would cruise together, picking up sailors.’
      • ‘The commercial depicts two attractive women cruising a bar for men.’
      • ‘Our community is so not ready and they don't want to hear the fact that if it is not your partner cruising outside, it could be your brother.’
      • ‘This description should convey an image of the kind of place where some young people choose to search for members of the opposite sex when cruising on the streets.’
      • ‘The common experiences practiced in secret were, besides sex, bar life, cruising, camp, drag, and so forth.’
      • ‘He had been cruising in the area and was evidently the tragic victim of a hate crime.’
    4. 1.4informal with object Walk past and assess (a potential sexual partner)
      ‘he was cruising a pair of sailors’
      • ‘I was cruised by more gay men over the weekend than I have been in the last few months.’
      • ‘For years he went out dancing to get cruised, to be noticed.’
      • ‘Or if she does, she'll glance quickly away again, paranoia in her eyes, afraid that she'll be caught cruising the straight girl.’
      • ‘Anyway, cruising other gays and lesbians is just too easy, right?’
      • ‘Next time you're cruising some big hot bruiser at the Apple Store or in line for a roller coaster, you may have to ask yourself, Bear or straight?’
      • ‘Please avoid bars that are notorious for one reason or another, bars that are used for cruising and pick ups.’
      • ‘That's a lot of pressure to be putting on kids who basically just want to get drunk, hang out, and cruise chicks.’
      • ‘I hate to think how you'd have reacted if I'd been cruising you.’
      • ‘I wasn't in great shape, but suddenly I was getting cruised on the streets.’
  • 2(of a motor vehicle or aircraft) travel smoothly at a moderate or economical speed.

    ‘we sit in a jet, cruising at some 30,000 ft’
    • ‘This is made worse by smug motorcyclists cruising along, seemingly uninterrupted by the harsh realities of the motoring world.’
    • ‘On a marvellous day in late July I was standing aboard a former navy vessel converted into a dive boat, cruising at 30-plus knots with the wind in my hair and the scent of sun and sea in my nostrils.’
    • ‘His car cruised down the right lane of the street with its blinker on.’
    • ‘Their police car was cruising along one of the main roads in Rio de Janeiro's North Zone on Wednesday evening when it was ambushed.’
    • ‘With a laugh, Jason got comfortable in the mid-day traffic as he cruised along in second gear.’
    • ‘At speed it cruised comfortably, and handled 100 mph on the high-speed bowl without complaint, and with minimal engine and road noise.’
    • ‘The roads are snow covered, but I'm cruising along like it's summertime - confident and comfortable.’
    • ‘The AIP fuel cell allows the U212 to cruise under water for weeks without surfacing.’
    • ‘A commercial airliner cruises at more than 500 miles an hour.’
    • ‘Both aircraft were cruising at their assigned altitude of 36,000 ft.’
    • ‘The group of travellers leaped on the man after it was claimed he stood on his seat screaming and lashed out at people who tried to calm him as the aircraft was cruising at 30,000 feet above the Atlantic.’
    • ‘The aircraft can cruise up to four hours with a range of more than 500 miles at a maximum speed of 160 knots.’
    • ‘The seats may have been uncomfortable, hard plastic but it still felt good to be cruising smoothly along the coast, looking out on the flat blue sea to the tune of piped classical music.’
    • ‘This includes when accelerating from standstill in bumper-to-bumper traffic, when traveling slowly and cruising at a constant speed.’
    • ‘We are cruising slowly through northern Indiana and at 9pm the diner actually opens.’
    • ‘The car was soon cruising down a tree-covered road.’
    • ‘This automatically adjusts the car's speed when cruising to maintain a safe distance from the car in front.’
    • ‘After flying for about 20 miles, I finally got it up to 1000 feet, cruising along at a nice 110 knots.’
    • ‘A seemingly endless line of petrol tankers cruises along the road, their drivers smiling at us as we speed by.’
    • ‘Most commercial jetliners cruise somewhere between 30,000 and 45,000 feet above mean sea level.’
    coast, drift, meander, drive slowly, travel slowly, travel aimlessly
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Achieve an objective with ease, especially in sports.
      ‘he cruised to an easy victory in Tuesday's primary’
      • ‘The restored cue worked a treat for the 33-year-old as he cruised to a 5-3 victory with two breaks of 60.’
      • ‘Sussex had few problems getting past Essex, cruising to a nine-wicket win with more than five overs to spare.’
      • ‘By the end, they were a sad sight as York cruised past 30 points for the first time this season.’
      • ‘The 14-year-old cruised to victory in the under-15 and under-16s classes.’
      • ‘Oxford UCCE were given a brief insight into the gulf between university and county cricket as Lancashire cruised to a ten-wicket victory at the Parks.’
      • ‘The Warriors kicked off the second half of the season in style last Saturday afternoon, as they cruised to a 5-0 home win over the Royal Military College Paladins.’
      • ‘Saturday was a different story, when four of five Indonesian boxers cruised to the next stage.’
      • ‘Waterford cruised to the easiest of wins over a most disappointing home side and will go into next Sunday's clash with Galway in Walsh Park at the top of the league table.’
      • ‘The super mare made most of the running and the outcome was never in the slightest doubt as she cruised home eight lengths clear in ground she hated and on a track that might not have really suited her ideally.’
      • ‘At the ground where they suffered their only league defeat of the season just over two years ago, they cruised to their 20th consecutive league win yesterday, and without so much as a bead of sweat appearing on their brow.’
      • ‘Lochcarron meanwhile cruised to a 6-0 victory at home to Glenorchy.’
      • ‘He was the clear winner in the Men's 200m individual medley as he cruised home in two minutes 11.83 seconds which was 2.39 seconds below his best.’
      • ‘York cruised to success in the premier division of the Yorkshire Squash League, beating Huddersfield 4-1.’
      • ‘When we played them a couple of weeks ago we scored early on, were three goals up after ten minutes, 5-0 up at half-time and then cruised to a 7-0 win.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the U.S. Women's Soccer Team cruised to an easy 3 to nil victory against host Greece in one of the opening events of the games.’
      • ‘With his build and style of running, a move to the marathon was always going to be inevitable and the ease with he cruised to victory yesterday underscored his potential.’
      • ‘Waterloo's shooting touch that had escaped them a night before had returned, as the Warriors cruised to a double-digits victory.’
      • ‘They have cruised to the championship of the Premier League with ease with an impressive 18 wins out of 19 games.’
  • 3(of a young child) walk while holding on to furniture or other structures, prior to learning to walk without support.

    ‘my daughter cruised at seven months and didn't walk until just after her first birthday’
    with object ‘about a week ago she started crawling forwards, cruising furniture, and standing by herself’
    • ‘Her mum looked on with pride and relief as she took her first faltering steps in their front room and started to cruise the furniture.’
    • ‘He has been pulling himself up for ages and is just starting to cruise.’
    • ‘Standing alone usually happens around your child's first birthday, with his first steps following soon after as he begins to cruise around the room, holding onto the furniture for support.’
    • ‘How old was your little one when they started to pull themselves up on furniture and cruise?’
    • ‘The baby, just learning to walk, had cruised from the chairs to the table.’
    • ‘My DS didn't start to cruise until 15 months but as soon as he started to walk there was no stopping him.’
    • ‘It is around this time when babies start standing up and cruising the living room, holding on to furniture.’
    • ‘DS is 16.5 months now and he cruises confidently, crawls like Speedy Gonzales and will walk a few steps holding one hand.’
    • ‘Lewis and Morgan don't walk yet- they cruise everywhere.’
    • ‘Some babies can cruise around, shuffling while holding onto something.’


  • A voyage on a ship or boat taken for pleasure or as a vacation and usually calling in at several places.

    ‘a cruise down the Nile’
    as modifier ‘a cruise liner’
    • ‘The pier is to be redeveloped as a cruise terminal.’
    • ‘Both boats take over 200 tourists on daily pleasure cruises in Pattaya Bay.’
    • ‘Peace Boat has sponsored global cruises on chartered passenger ships since its inception in 1983 to promote peace, human rights and environmental protection.’
    • ‘One ancient relative of mine hid in a stowaway boat on a cruise liner to come to the U.S. all the way from Poland!’
    • ‘They are spending their honeymoon in Florida after which they are taking a Caribbean cruise.’
    • ‘If a luxurious Mediterranean cruise is your dream, do not despair.’
    • ‘For more than eight years we have been putting together affordable gay group cruises and also helping you get anywhere in the world.’
    • ‘Hopefully the next time around, you'll finally enjoy the relaxing cruise of your dreams.’
    • ‘They offered whale-watching cruises and restored the old buildings that perched on pilings along the rim of the harbour.’
    • ‘Tourists can take cruises on pleasure boats that provide a panoramic view of the winding coastline facing the Pacific.’
    • ‘A majestic feel of heaven on earth is readily available on the deck of a cruise in a cruise voyage.’
    • ‘The agency is offering an eight-day luxury cruise with a four-day stop at the fair.’
    • ‘How you enjoy your honeymoon cruise is also up to you.’
    • ‘Newlyweds cheerfully talk about their future plans during a romantic moment on deck during their honeymoon cruise.’
    • ‘She was awarded a 10-day Mexican cruise for being the consultant who sold the most pieces in six months.’
    • ‘After bad weather caused the cancellation of the last planned visit of the cruise liner, the Golden Princess, she finally made it on Saturday.’
    • ‘After his stint there, he wanted to see the world and as he had always had an interest in ships and sailing, applied for a job on a cruise liner as a chef.’
    • ‘European lawmakers are being urged to crack down on the luxury cruise liners that threaten marine life by pumping pollutants into the open ocean.’
    • ‘From there the ship takes a seven-day cruise to the Shetland Islands before returning to Oban.’
    • ‘It also has a splendid harbour full of boats offering fishing trips, pleasure cruises and diving excursions.’
    boat trip
    View synonyms


  • cruising for a bruising

    • informal Heading or looking for trouble.

      • ‘Six months on from posting, I think it's still true that new entrant developers are cruising for a bruising while the wily old foxes of developing are sitting quiet and looking for opportunities.’
      • ‘This type of thinking is just cruising for a bruising while your speed picks up even more, and there are too many sad stories about skaters who unsuccessfully fell prey to it.’
      • ‘Hmm, you're cruising for a bruising methinks, and as such, you're on your own lad.’


Mid 17th century (as a verb): probably from Dutch kruisen ‘to cross’, from kruis ‘cross’, from Latin crux.