Definition of dinghy in English:



  • 1A small boat for recreation or racing, especially an open boat with a mast and sails.

    • ‘A friend invited me to go sailing in a dinghy, again on a stormy day.’
    • ‘The access dinghy he uses to sail is controlled by a hand operated joystick, allowing him a freedom of movement he lacks on land.’
    • ‘I was sailing dinghies at the time and expressed an interest in having a go at sailmaking as a profession, so I wrote to him and he responded by calling me in for a meeting.’
    • ‘The Standard dinghies have a larger sail of 6.7 square metres.’
    • ‘The dinghy has three sails and a trapeze, which allows Katherine to lean out of the boat on a wire to counteract the force of the sails and keep the boat upright.’
    • ‘Moroccan authorities said last week that the suspects planned to sail a dinghy loaded with explosives from Morocco into the strait to attack the vessels.’
    • ‘Fitz smiled at this, remembering his own boyhood dreams as he'd sailed a small dinghy and thought of bigger boats.’
    • ‘I used to live in Guernsey and I learnt to windsurf and sail dinghies.’
    • ‘Some categories of boats are full, such as yachts, sailing dinghies and self-drive motor boats.’
    • ‘Still undaunted by what was acknowledged, at the time, as the longest distance ever sailed in an open dinghy out of sight of land, the King planted a flag at the base to commemorate the event.’
    • ‘So why would any person in their right mind nail their colours to the mast of a leaky dinghy rather than a majestic tall ship?’
    • ‘Angry coastguards in North Wales today condemned as ‘madness’ children being allowed to sail out in tiny dinghies.’
    • ‘Some other members were on hand to demonstrate how to rig the sails on a sailing dinghy and show the layout of a boat to the trainees.’
    • ‘As I looked at these tremendous pedal extremities, I mused that I sail a dinghy, not much bigger than his boots, on the open waters of the Gulf of Thailand.’
    • ‘Should you wish, you can have a sail in a dinghy in the presence of our qualified instructors, but remember to bring some old clothes and a windproof, or relax in our clubhouse and watch racing on the lake.’
    • ‘Yet Emma has just returned to her roots, sailing a dinghy in the Clyde with a 15-year-old girl from Helensburgh Sailing Club, and professes to have enjoyed every minute of it.’
    • ‘Though the wind seemed disappointingly light, I was excited to be on an 18 foot yacht, having sailed before only in dinghies.’
    • ‘It was an eight-foot sailing dinghy with high freeboard.’
    • ‘If you don't sail a dinghy well you don't actually go anywhere, but in a cat you pull the sails in and then point vaguely in the right direction and it can go like a bullet from a gun.’
    • ‘He's really in a dinghy, its mast little taller than its sole occupant!’
    1. 1.1 A small inflatable rubber boat.
      • ‘For the adventurous, Loves has rubber dinghies, beach balls with attachments and even an innocent, polka-dotted dairy cow.’
      • ‘These are three towering water chutes, in varying levels of steepness, down which you plunge in a rubber dinghy.’
      • ‘On June 25 this year, he and a friend, Misha, had ventured out into the water on a rubber dinghy, near their friends' country house on Sinovetskoye lake, 69 km from St Petersburg.’
      • ‘The lifeboat located four kayakers, who had landed at a cove east of Spain tower, and the lifeboat launched an inflatable dinghy to rescue the stranded kayakers.’
      • ‘Here's a tip - take a bulk spool of line and an inflatable dinghy with you.’
      • ‘A rubber dinghy rushed at full speed to and fro along the Moscow River with a poster saying ‘No war’.’
      • ‘Police, fire and lifeboat crews used inflatable dinghies to evacuate some of the residents from their homes.’
      • ‘His group set off aboard a rubber dinghy, but was never heard from again.’
      • ‘I use a doubled over sleeping mat to save weight but small inflatable dinghies can be purchased locally and are ideal.’
      • ‘New rides being offered for the first time this year include the Wave Runner ride an exciting family water coaster where participant whoosh down a trough of fast-moving water in a rubber dinghy.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, two young boys, aged 8 and 13, had a lucky escape yesterday afternoon when they were carried out to sea on an inflatable dinghy.’
      • ‘There are relatively few amusement arcades but plenty of shops selling brightly-coloured buckets, spades, inflatable dinghies and beach balls, not to mention lettered rock and ices.’
      • ‘This, too, will be the venue for the Festival Regatta, when inflatable dinghies will race from Barrow Bridge to Spa Bridge.’
      • ‘As the two crewmen parachuted into the sea, the back part of their ejection seats fell away and the bottom part turned into an inflatable dinghy as they hit the water.’
      • ‘He had a visit from a fire and rescue team in a rubber dinghy, checking to make sure he was all right - and at one point his girlfriend Brenda floated supplies down to him from Skeldergate Bridge wrapped in plastic bin-liners.’
      • ‘We anchor alone in the lee of the cay, pile into the inflatable dinghy, don our masks and fins, and spend the next hour swimming with dolphins.’
      • ‘The La Malouine was nearest and proceeded to attempt to pick up the crew that by this time were in their rubber dinghy.’
      • ‘The men used an inflatable dinghy to row alongside the SeaFrance vessel as she prepared to leave Calais and then climbed on to a metal fender 6ft above the water level.’
      • ‘A sailor was left fuming after thieves stole the inflatable dinghy he had used to get from his boat to shore.’
      • ‘A busy summer's day on Ullswater turned to tragedy as two girls in an inflatable dinghy watched their father slip beneath the cold waters never to resurface alive, an inquest heard.’


Early 19th century (denoting a rowing boat used on rivers in India): from Hindi ḍiṅgī. The -gh in English serves to indicate the hard g.