Definition of outrigger in US English:



  • 1A beam, spar, or framework projecting from or over the side of a ship or boat.

    • ‘To reduce windage, powerboat owners should lower antennas and outriggers.’
    • ‘Their ships normally look much like a flattened arrowhead with two round outrigger pods on the sides containing their weapons.’
    • ‘I sat out on the beam, putting my weight on the outrigger.’
    • ‘The beam is attached to the columns by means of a specially designed clamping system and has two cantilevered outriggers that anchor the top of the tension cables.’
    • ‘The creature emerged through the outrigger of the canoe with a ‘long neck like a turtle’, made ‘a big noise’ and the terrified man gathered his fishing tackle and hurriedly left.’
    1. 1.1 A float or secondary hull fixed parallel to a canoe or other boat to stabilize it.
      • ‘Other features include standard wireless radio controls, wide-stance outriggers, hydraulic regeneration, and stability monitoring capability.’
      • ‘The canoe was over 20 feet long, he noted, and made from a hollowed-out tree with an outrigger on both sides.’
      • ‘The Hawaiian outrigger canoe is part of the cultural heritage of America's only Island State.’
      • ‘Two outriggers give the vessel great stability.’
      • ‘The fishermen of the cooperative had a large outrigger canoe, fished in a traditional manner with nets and caught about 350 kilo of fish a day on average.’
      • ‘It was either that or some boat that had built-in outriggers, each with its own dagger board (which was cunningly interchangeable with the rudder blade), and a central driving seat.’
      • ‘This time we will be assembling an outrigger canoe.’
      • ‘Two outrigger hulls provide stability and prevent the boat from capsizing.’
      • ‘Diving is usually done from bancas, long, stable boats with outriggers, powered by truck diesel engines.’
      • ‘Nearly a third of the primary hull was missing along with one of the outriggers.’
      • ‘The traditional bangka, an outrigger canoe, is still in common use for fishing and local transport.’
      • ‘The boats are bancas, canoe-style hulls with twin bamboo outriggers.’
      • ‘It's possible to rent an outrigger canoe and go to some of the more special places for snorkelling.’
      • ‘‘Their canoes are made with a good deal of skill, and have an outrigger,’ he wrote.’
      • ‘Their boats are outrigger canoes, and outboard engines are not allowed.’
      • ‘The outboard motor growled to life and our outrigger kept us on an even keel while sea-birds sat on sharp, spume-glistening rocks, watching our heaving progress with mild interest.’
      • ‘In 2003, Tim attempted to solo sail from Florida to Cuba in an outrigger canoe.’
    2. 1.2 A boat fitted with an outrigger.
      • ‘Ted, a tall, brown tree-trunk of a man, raced outriggers for more than 30 years.’
      • ‘It was just what she did to get by and be happy and be able to paddle outriggers and go to Hawaii every year.’
      • ‘The fleet consisted of one large fish carrier, a medium purse-seine fishing vessel, three medium sized boats and four ocean going outriggers.’
      • ‘Children in outriggers surrounded the ship for the better part of the day, making the entire affair seem like a county carnival.’
    3. 1.3 A projecting support similar to an outrigger in another structure or vehicle.
      • ‘The machine consisted of the fuselage of a small biplane with two outriggers supporting to engines.’
      • ‘Since there are no intermediate mechanical floors in the Times Square towers, the only acceptable locations for outriggers would have been at the rooftops and bases.’
      • ‘Mobilization is relatively simple, and, because there are no outriggers or other external bracing requirements, the unit can operate with minimal disruption of traffic.’
      • ‘Equipped with a large central float and two outriggers, the sea-going Zero was a formidable opponent despite the fact that the floats caused drag and lowered overall performance.’
      • ‘Removable outrigger gear located away from the fuselage centreline is used to lighten the weight of the airborne aircraft.’
      • ‘Narrow building cores are commonly stabilized with outriggers, located in mechanical floors that divide the height of the building into three equal sections.’
      • ‘Unlike the base vehicle, the outriggers stayed steady and well above the track surface, plus the truck drifted slightly at the apogee of each directional change.’
      • ‘Although pulled along by the frantic animal, he swiftly grabs an outrigger and slides smoothly back on board.’


Mid 18th century: perhaps influenced by the obsolete nautical term outligger, in the same sense.