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float

Definitions

  • Box Floating, Hand In View
    Box Floating, Hand In View
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v float convert from a fixed point notation to a floating point notation "float data"
    • v float allow (currencies) to fluctuate "The government floated the ruble for a few months"
    • v float make the surface of level or smooth "float the plaster"
    • v float put into the water "float a ship"
    • v float move lightly, as if suspended "The dancer floated across the stage"
    • v float set afloat "He floated the logs down the river","The boy floated his toy boat on the pond"
    • v float be in motion due to some air or water current "The leaves were blowing in the wind","the boat drifted on the lake","The sailboat was adrift on the open sea","the shipwrecked boat drifted away from the shore"
    • v float be afloat either on or below a liquid surface and not sink to the bottom
    • v float circulate or discuss tentatively; test the waters with "The Republicans are floating the idea of a tax reform"
    • n float an air-filled sac near the spinal column in many fishes that helps maintain buoyancy
    • n float something that floats on the surface of water
    • n float a hand tool with a flat face used for smoothing and finishing the surface of plaster or cement or stucco
    • n float an elaborate display mounted on a platform carried by a truck (or pulled by a truck) in a procession or parade
    • n float a drink with ice cream floating in it
    • n float the number of shares outstanding and available for trading by the public
    • n float the time interval between the deposit of a check in a bank and its payment
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

American Museum Expedition on the Red Deer River. Fossils secured along the banks were packed and loaded aboard the large scow and floated down the river to the railway station American Museum Expedition on the Red Deer River. Fossils secured along the banks were packed and loaded aboard the...
A CHINESE FLOATING VILLAGE A CHINESE FLOATING VILLAGE
Mr. Punch, floating and smoking Mr. Punch, floating and smoking
Man holding floating pig by rope Man holding floating pig by rope
Floating Dock Floating Dock
THE HAVANA FLOATING DOCK THE HAVANA FLOATING DOCK
Sister Sunnyhopes floating on her back Sister Sunnyhopes floating on her back

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1945, the first "floating ice cream parlor" was built for sailors in the western Pacific. This "floating ice cream parlour" could produce ten gallons of ice cream every seven seconds
    • Float A coal cart.
    • Float (Tempering) A contrivance for affording a copious stream of water to the heated surface of an object of large bulk, as an anvil or die.
    • Float A float board. See Float boardbelow).
    • Float A hollow elongated tank mounted under the wing of a seaplane which causes the plane to float when resting on the surface of the water.
    • Float A mass of timber or boards fastened together, and conveyed down a stream by the current; a raft.
    • Float A polishing block used in marble working; a runner.
    • Float A quantity of earth, eighteen feet square and one foot deep.
    • Float A single-cut file for smoothing; a tool used by shoemakers for rasping off pegs inside a shoe.
    • Float a vehicle on which an exhibit or display is mounted, driven or pulled as part of a parade. The float often is based on a large flat platform, and may contain a very elaborate structure with a tableau or people.
    • Float Anything used to buoy up whatever is liable to sink; an inflated bag or pillow used by persons learning to swim; a life preserver.
    • Float Anything which floats or rests on the surface of a fluid, as to sustain weight, or to indicate the height of the liquid surface, or mark the place of, something.
    • Float The act of flowing; flux; flow.
    • Float The cork or quill used in angling, to support the bait line, and indicate the bite of a fish.
    • Float (Banking) The free use of money for a time between occurrence of a transaction (such as depositing a check or a purchase made using a credit card), and the time when funds are withdrawn to cover the transaction; also, the money made available between transactions in that manner.
    • Float The hollow, metallic ball of a self-acting faucet, which floats upon the water in a cistern or boiler.
    • Float The hollow, metallic ball which floats on the fuel in the fuel tank of a vehicle to indicate the level of the fuel surface, and thus the amount of fuel remaining.
    • Float The sea; a wave. See Flote n.
    • Float (Plastering) The trowel or tool with which the floated coat of plastering is leveled and smoothed.
    • Float To cause to float; to cause to rest or move on the surface of a fluid; as, the tide floated the ship into the harbor. "Had floated that bell on the Inchcape rock."
    • Float To flood; to overflow; to cover with water. "Proud Pactolus floats the fruitful lands."
    • Float To move quietly or gently on the water, as a raft; to drift along; to move or glide without effort or impulse on the surface of a fluid, or through the air. "They stretch their broad plumes and float upon the wind.""There seems a floating whisper on the hills."
    • Float (Plastering) To pass over and level the surface of with a float while the plastering is kept wet.
    • Float To rest on the surface of any fluid; to swim; to be buoyed up. "The ark no more now floats, but seems on ground.""Three blustering nights, borne by the southern blast,
      I floated ."
    • Float To support and sustain the credit of, as a commercial scheme or a joint-stock company, so as to enable it to go into, or continue in, operation.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: All porcupines can float in water.
    • float To rest on the surface of water or other liquid, with or without movement; more commonly, to be buoyed up by water and moved by its motion alone.
    • float To rest or move in or as if in a liquid medium; be or appear to be buoyed up, moved, or carried along by or with the aid of a surrounding element: as, clouds, motes, feathers, etc., float in the air; odors float on the breeze; strains of music float on the wind.
    • float To drift about fortuitously; be moved or carried along aimlessly or vaguely; go and come passively: as, a rumor has floated hither; confused notions floating in the mind.
    • float In weaving, to pass, as a thread, crosswise under or over several threads without intersecting them. Thus, in twilled or diapered stuff, a thread of the weft will float—that is, pass under or over several threads of the warp.
    • float To cause to float; buoy; cause to be conveyed on the surface of a liquid: as, the tide floated the ship into the harbor; to float timber down a river.
    • float To cover with water; flood; irrigate.
    • float In oyster-culture, to place on a float for fattening. See float, n., 1 .
    • float In plastering, to pass over and level the surface of, as plaster, with a float frequently dipped in water.
    • float In ceramics, to wash over or cover with a thin coat, as of varnish, or with enamel.
    • float In white-lead making, to subject to the process of floating. See floating, n., 4.
    • float In farriery, to file, as the teeth of horses, especially old horses.
    • float To set afloat; give course or effect to; procure recognition or support for: used of financial operations: as, to float stocks or bonds; to float a scheme by raising funds to carry it on.
    • float In sporting, to hunt by approaching with a boat or float at night: as, to float deer.
    • n float That which floats, rests, or moves on the surface of water or other liquid.
    • n float Specifically— A boat.
    • n float A fleet.
    • n float A collection of timber, boards, or planks fastened together and floated down a stream; a raft.
    • n float A fishing-float.
    • n float A platform of planks or other material, as a galvanized iron netting or something similar, on which oysters are piled in fresh water to fatten for marketing.
    • n float A floating platform fastened to a wharf or the shore, from which to embark in or land from boats, as a landing-place at a ferry.
    • n float A cork or other light substance used on an angling-line to support it and show by its movement when a fish takes the hook.
    • n float The small piece of ivory on the surface of the mercury in the basin of a barometer.
    • n float The hollow metallic sphere of a self-acting faucet, which floats in the boiler of a steam-engine or in a cistern.
    • n float The act or state of floating: now only in the prepositional phrase or adverb afloat.
    • n float The act of flowing; flux; flood; flood-tide.
    • n float A wave.
    • n float An inflated bag or pillow used to sustain a person in the water; a cork jacket; a life-preserver.
    • n float A platform on wheels, bearing a group of objects or persons forming a tableau or scenic effect, and designed to be drawn through the streets in a procession.
    • n float A kind of dray having the body hung below the axle, used for transporting heavy goods.
    • n float A coal-cart.
    • n float A name of various mechanical tools and appliances. The float-board of a water-wheel, or of the paddle-wheel of a steamer.
    • n float pl. Theat., the footlights: in allusion to the wicks, which floated in a trough filled with oil.
    • n float In weaving, especially of fancy fabrics, the passing of a thread crosswise under or over several threads without intersecting them.
    • n float In zoology: In Mollusca, specifically, the vesicular appendage of the Ianthinidæ. See cut under Ianthinidæ.
    • n float A local name of a discoid medusa of the genus Velella.
    • n float An air-sac or other light hollow or vesicular part or organ which floats or buoys some animals on the water, as the pneumatophore or pneumatocyst of a hydrozoan. The large inflated part of a physophoran, as the Portuguese man-of-war, is a good example. See pneumatophore, and cuts under Athorybia and Physalia.
    • n float Same as floater, 4.
    • n float A timber drag used for dressing off roads, especially race-courses.
    • n float In stereotyping by the plaster process, the iron plate (about half an inch thick) which upholds the baked plaster mold in its dipping-pan. The plate and the pan float in a bath of the much heavier medium of melted type-metal.
    • n float In geology and mining, loose pieces of ore which have become detached from the parent mass in place and have traveled a greater or less distance. They indicate the presence of a vein and guide the prospector in his discoveries.
    • n float plural Commercial fertilizers consisting of low-grade phosphates ground to an impalpable powder. They are used with special advantage in connection with green manures and in composts to render the phosphoric acid more available.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Porcupines float in water.
    • v.i Float flōt to swim on a liquid: to be buoyed up: to move lightly and irregularly: to circulate, as a rumour: to drift about aimlessly
    • v.t Float to cause to swim: to cover with water: to set agoing
    • n Float anything swimming on water: a raft: the cork or quill on a fishing-line: a plasterer's trowel
    • n Float action of the verb float: the spreading of plaster on the surface of walls
    • ***

Quotations

  • James Baldwin
    James%20Baldwin
    “People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.”
  • Rabindranath Tagore
    Rabindranath%20Tagore
    “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
  • Muhammad Ali
    Muhammad%20Ali
    “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
  • Chinese Proverb
    Chinese Proverb
    “Riches: A dream in the night. Fame: A gull floating on water.”
  • Italo Calvino
    Italo%20Calvino
    “Novels as dull as dishwater, with the grease of random sentiments floating on top.”
  • W. C. Fields
    W.%20C.%20Fields
    “Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.”

Idioms

Whatever floats your boat - When people say this, they mean that you should do whatever makes you happy.
***

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. flote, ship, boat, fleet, AS. flota, ship, fr. fleótan, to float; akin to D. vloot, fleet, G. floss, raft, Icel. floti, float, raft, fleet, Sw. flotta,. √ 84. See Fleet (v. i.), and cf. Flotilla Flotsam Plover

Usage

In literature:

She pulled hard, and the tub slowly floated towards her.
"The Island House" by F. M. Holmes
The earth that covered it was drawn back like a floating drapery.
"Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen" by Hans Christian Andersen
At that float he will stare till he cannot see.
"The Voyage Alone in the Yawl "Rob Roy"" by John MacGregor
They floated down the creek to the bridge and then floated back again, and were finally rescued in boats.
"The Johnstown Horror" by James Herbert Walker
There was a smaller cask floating alongside, attached to the timbers by a piece of rope that was tightly looped around the swell.
"The Ocean Waifs" by Mayne Reid
They floated twelve miles down the stream that evening, and slept on the right bank of the Ohio.
"Travels in North America, From Modern Writers" by William Bingley
Prisintly we came to a wharf, and ridin' to the float below it was a big white launch, cabined and decked.
"The Boy Scouts Book of Stories" by Various
The gray bulk floated idly with the steamer.
"Peter the Brazen" by George F. Worts
Late in the day he dropped out of the eddy and floated on down.
"The River Prophet" by Raymond S. Spears
Curses floated faintly from below, then there was silence.
"Shaman" by Robert Shea
The snow had melted below the timber line and a long trail of smoke floated across the somber forest.
"Partners of the Out-Trail" by Harold Bindloss
While continuing their defensive efforts through Saturday, August 22, 1914, there floated to them a distant rumble from the eastward.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume II (of VIII)" by Various
In the shallow water near the dock there always floated a dense school of little fish like sardines.
"Tales of Fishes" by Zane Grey
The fairies were singing a roundelay; and, as the melody floated over the water, Victor and Blanche listened with throbbing hearts.
"Boys and Girls Bookshelf (Vol 2 of 17)" by Various
Within, a young man with ginger hair and laughing eyes, sprang from nowhere, pounced at Kate, floated her away.
"The Paliser case" by Edgar Saltus
For seven or eight years afterwards rumours kept floating in to the company's forts of finds of gold.
"The Cariboo Trail" by Agnes C. Laut
At last a man with black hair floated by on the waves.
"The Chinese Fairy Book" by Various
Our trust in International Law received a rude and shattering shock from deadly floating mine and racing torpedo.
"Merchantmen-at-Arms" by David W. Bone
With the high tide the sloop floated off.
"Stories of Our Naval Heroes" by Various
They said he was floating on his back in the water.
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain
***

In poetry:

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
'Til I can rest again.
"Woman Work" by Maya Angelou
This is the time of frolic,
When they go floating high,
On wispy shreds of river mist,
Across the shining sky.
"Fairies" by Alice Guerin Crist
The next place that he came unto
It was a stagnant pool,
And when he threw the body in
It floated light as wool.
"The Ballad Of Judas Iscariot" by Robert Williams Buchanan
In the mirror of its tide
Tangled thickets on each side
Hang inverted, and between
Floating cloud or sky serene.
"Songo River. (Birds Of Passage. Flight The Fourth)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Out of the Body for ever
No refuge—no succour nor stay—
Floated that sorrowful Spirit
Away, and away, and away.
"For Ever" by Henry Kendall
And all beneath those starry blooms,
By bends and beaches,
We floated on through glassy glooms,
Down moonlit reaches.
"The River Maiden" by Victor James Daley

In news:

The Social Deterioration of Funny, Floating Money.
The floodwaters, thick with floating debris shoved inland, pushed aside heavy trucks as if they were toys.
Inflatable floats are seen on the surface of the swimming pool where police say 14-month-old Jacob Edenberg-Carye of Taunton accidentally drowned Thursday morning.
In the US we have a floating currency, which means two things.
Sometimes the dollar actually floats.
Funny how a little love can get you so high, sings Carolyn Dawn Johnson on "He's Mine" - and she does indeed sound like she's floating a few feet off the ground.
No, the Drillers won't play in a bowl, much less win a state championship -- a tune once floating through Kern County like a Merle Haggard twanger.
Keep a float from sinking operation.
The second annual Rubber Ducky Classic is planned for Saturday, Aug 25 with a start time of 4:30 pm The event, a fundraiser for the Good Shepherd Caregivers, has scores of rubber duckies floating down Town Run.
Submerge in a pot of boiling water and cook until dumplings float and become puffy.
"He Floated Apart, Locked Inside a Private World They Could Neither Share Nor Penetrate".
Has completed its appraisal program on the Equus natural gas project offshore Western Australia and is calling for registrations of interest for major subsea and floating production system contracts.
(Host) Commentator Will Curtis recently took a trip that followed - or you might say floated - along the same route once taken by his great, great grandfather.
In the days after the Aurora horror I was considering floating a theory about the past decade's decline in support for gun control even in the face of a string of mass shootings.
The Bourne Legacy begins, fittingly, with a nod to The Bourne Identity: a guy floating in the water, photographed from underneath.
***

In science:

Have imbued with foam the VFC floats on a time.
Skeletal Structures of the Ocean, Hypotheses and Interpretation of the Phenomenon
The idea of convection comes from what is observed when liquids are heated from beneath. The heated liquid expands a little, becoming slightly less dense than the cooler liquid and thus tends to rise, to float to the surface.
Teaching Earth Dynamics: What's Wrong with Plate Tectonics Theory?
McDonald, Floating Wire Simulation of the Tra jectory of a Charged Particle in a Magnetic Field.
Test problems in mechanics and special relativity
There does seem to be one case where such evidence for direct gravitational collapse of planetary mass objects may already exist, and that is the case of what have been called “free-floating planets” (eg.
Planetesimals To Brown Dwarfs: What is a Planet?
The original discoveries were dubbed “free-floating planets” by those in the “characteristics” arena.
Planetesimals To Brown Dwarfs: What is a Planet?
Lucas PW, Roche PF 2000. A population of very young brown dwarfs and free-floating planets in Orion.
Planetesimals To Brown Dwarfs: What is a Planet?
FPGAs. The proposed architecture is especially designed for high performance and low power floating point multiplications in FPGAs.
Combined Integer and Floating Point Multiplication Architecture(CIFM) for FPGAs and Its Reversible Logic Implementation
Dealing with floating point arithmetic is sometimes tricky.
When, why and how to test spreadsheets
The other type of surface charging is differential charging, which occurs when the spacecraft surface has dielectric materials (such as KaptonTM or TeflonTM). Different portions of the spacecraft surface charge to different "floating" potentials in this case.
Spacecraft Charging and Hazards to Electronics in Space
Among these are the numeric types int (integers) and float (floating point numbers).
A Test Automation Framework for Mercury
To optimize the ranking algorithm, we truncated float numbers to work only on integers and we cut too big values using the log.
Annotation of Scientific Summaries for Information Retrieval
Last Connes report quotes the Floating Bodies principle, doesn’t it?.
Dream of a Christmas lecture
Floating-up of the extended states in perpendicular magnetic fields 1.
Metal-insulator transitions and the effects of electron-electron interactions in two-dimensional electron systems
Miller ’s interferometer is a direct descendant of Mich elson ’s original version, and Michelson and Morley’s improved model – indeed he reused their mercury trough in wh ich the interferometer floats while rotating.
An Explanation of Dayton Miller's Anomalous "Ether Drift" Result
The Overnight Index Swap (OIS) is a swap with a fixed leg versus a floating leg indexed to the overnight rate.
Interest Rates After The Credit Crunch: Multiple-Curve Vanilla Derivatives and SABR
***