Definition of floater in US English:



  • 1A person or thing that floats.

    • ‘He produced a set of keys attached to a large red floater then placed a cordless phone on the counter.’
    • ‘‘Plug it up with rubber floaters,’ Rys commanded.’
    • ‘The most intensive water use is with hair conditioner being a principal component of the floaters.’
    • ‘And then I gave birth to six or seven other babies, all floaters like their older brother.’
    • ‘Some think they are masters of their fate, others believe they are merely passive floaters on the river of fate.’
    • ‘The floater was a morphing shade that caught the prevailing winds within her eye and billowed like an escaped handkerchief.’
    • ‘In contrast, this is brain-dead pap that will be forgotten in a week, another floater in the sewer of empty rhetoric.’
    • ‘Now if you're still not convinced you care whether zooplankton drop sinkers or floaters you should know there are more than 1500 million tonnes of protozoa, a type of zooplankton, in the Southern Ocean alone.’
    • ‘After window shopping for millions of dirhams I came back home with a pair of cheap floaters and a two litre bottle of orange juice.’
    • ‘There were blue and brown butterflies wider than my hands side-by-side, black butterflies with dazzling yellow stripes, magnificent azure and green-winged floaters gliding on the humid air.’
    • ‘In fact, each painting on display at the ‘Floating Images’ is full of these floaters which serve as links in a shape-colour continuum.’
    • ‘He was a quintessential fearless big-wave rider and the first native to do aerials and floaters and 360s.’
    • ‘This particular breed are floaters, not fliers.’
    • ‘This allows the operator to use a long, paddle-shaped device to agitate the contents, mixing the floaters and grease with the solids in the bottom.’
    • ‘Before the floaters realize it, a sudden storm blows in and it's so dark for so long that when the storm dissipates, it really is night time.’
    • ‘I'm more of a flinger than a floater, so my teacher catches my hips, then he stands there and counts slowly to twelve while subtly, telepathically adjusting my posture and watching for signs of collapse.’
    • ‘The roads are magnetic as well and the floater rides on the opposing magnetic fields.’
    • ‘Frank stopped laughing abruptly and said, ‘so, when your people find your floater, they will be right next to the door?’’
    • ‘Oh and before I forget, I hate people that leave floaters in the toilet and bad stenches.’
    1. 1.1 A loose particle within the eyeball which is apparent in one's field of vision.
      • ‘I have had recent problems with what my physician called floaters.’
      • ‘She wrote about the inflamed irises in her eyes and the vision problems that have resulted, including floaters.’
      • ‘Although they can be annoying, eye floaters are usually not a problem and don't require treatment.’
      • ‘It's distracting (and made even worse by the fact that I've had a big gray floater in my right eye since 1998).’
      • ‘She wished she could turn back the clock, relive the day before the floater's advent just one last day unclouded by this random smear, the world still crystalline in both eyes.’
      • ‘Symptoms include floaters and blurred vision caused by swelling of the optic disc.’
      • ‘A sudden increase in the number of floaters - dark spots darting through your vision - could suggest vision-threatening changes to your retina.’
      • ‘A floater took up residency in Helen's eye- this was her fate, at fifty-five.’
      • ‘If the retina is normally attached, the insect-like movements are harmless floaters in the vitreous humor of the eye.’
      • ‘This can be normal, but sometimes it is a sign of a more serious problem such as retinal detachment, especially if you see light flashes along with floaters.’
      • ‘But I've become used to the floaters, as well as that low-volume, high-pitched hissing sound that I began to notice a year ago in the background of music from my stereo.’
      • ‘Intermediate uveitis is characterised by floaters and blurred vision and varies in severity.’
      • ‘Patients present with floaters and diminished visual acuity.’
      • ‘They're trapped in the liquid so when your eyes move the floaters scoot into view, and then settle out of sight.’
      • ‘It could have been far worse, the authors say, and they urge coaches to refer within 24 hours any player who reports ocular floaters soon after a game.’
      • ‘By the time I made it back to camp, I was seeing floaters and flashes.’
      • ‘Even her eye doctor, if he was to be believed, had floaters; Helen regarded him dubiously; she knew him for a bit of a joker.’
      • ‘She found a doctor across the border who claimed to have perfected a much simpler, essentially risk-free procedure called ‘laser obliteration of floaters,’ and her heart beat faster.’
      • ‘You may experience light sensitivity, redness, pain, floaters and blurry vision.’
      • ‘A dilated fundus examination of the retina is advised when these floaters increase in number suddenly along with flashes to rule out any retinal tears in the eye.’
  • 2North American informal A person who frequently changes occupation or residence.

    • ‘I heard a social worker call kids like that floaters in the office the day they took me there.’
    • ‘The sparks came from locomotives, settlers, hobo floaters, and lightning.’
    • ‘However, we have no reliable estimates of floater population size.’
    • ‘The adult population consisted of two status categories, residents and floaters.’
    • ‘The number of nonbreeders was estimated from census data on the ratio of floaters to residents during the rainy season.’
    • ‘In three cases a vacancy was not filled by an intruding floater while nearby intruding floaters were present in the area.’
  • 3North American A worker who is required to do a variety of tasks as the need for each arises.

    • ‘The soil test labs have been busy and there are a few floaters applying fertilizer in the field but not much other activity.’
    • ‘A floater was present in each classroom during the administration of the questionnaires to answer individual questions.’
    • ‘If you don't take scripts which mean something you just become a kind of mindless floater.’
    • ‘This occurred most often when the physician was on call at night, or when the nurse was a floater.’
  • 4US An insurance policy covering loss of articles without specifying a location.

    • ‘If you own luxury items, you'll probably need additional insurance - known as a rider or floater - to cover them.’