AskDefine | Define float

Dictionary Definition



1 the time interval between the deposit of a check in a bank and its payment
2 the number of shares outstanding and available for trading by the public
3 a drink with ice cream floating in it [syn: ice-cream soda, ice-cream float]
4 an elaborate display mounted on a platform carried by a truck (or pulled by a truck) in a procession or parade
5 a hand tool with a flat face used for smoothing and finishing the surface of plaster or cement or stucco [syn: plasterer's float]
6 something that remains on the surface of a liquid


1 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" [syn: drift, be adrift, blow]
2 be afloat; stay on a liquid surface; not sink [syn: swim] [ant: sink]
3 set afloat; "He floated the logs down the river"; "The boy floated his toy boat on the pond"
4 circulate or discuss tentatively; test the waters with; "The Republicans are floating the idea of a tax reform"
5 move lightly, as if suspended; "The dancer floated across the stage"
6 put into the water; "float a ship"
7 make the surface of level or smooth; "float the plaster"
8 allow (currencies) to fluctuate; "The government floated the ruble for a few months"
9 convert from a fixed point notation to a floating point notation; "float data"

User Contributed Dictionary




|flotian, from . Compare Old Norse flota, Icelandic fljóta and Mittle Dutch vloten.


  1. A buoyant device used to support something in water or another liquid.
    Attach the float and the weight to the fishing line, above the hook.
  2. A sort of trowel used for finishing concrete surfaces.
    When pouring a new driveway, you can use a two-by-four as a float.
  3. An elaborately decorated trailer or vehicle, intended for display in a parade or pageant.
    That float covered in roses is very pretty.
  4. A small battery-powered vehicle used for local deliveries, especially in the term milk float.
  5. Funds committed to be paid but not yet paid.
    Our bank does a nightly sweep of accounts, to adjust the float so we stay within our reserves limit.
  6. In the context of "finance|AU|and other Commonwealth countries?": An offering of shares in a company (or units in a trust) to members of the public, normally followed by a listing on a stock exchange.
    2006, You don't actually need a broker to buy shares in a float when a company is about to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. — Australian Securities and Investments Commission financial tips article, Buying shares in a float
  7. The total amount of checks/cheques or other drafts written against a bank account but not yet cleared and charged against the account.
    No sir, your current float is not taken into account, when assets are legally garnished.
  8. In the context of "insurance": Premiums taken in but not yet paid out.
    We make a lot of interest from our nightly float.
  9. Short form of floating-point number.
    That routine should not have used an int, it should be a float.
  10. A soft beverage with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream floating in it.
    It's true - I don't consider anything other than root-beer with vanilla ice-cream to be a "real" float.
  11. A small sum of money put in a cashier's till at the start of business to enable change to be made.


Shares offered to the public:

Derived terms


buoyant device used to support something in liquid
sort of trowel
trailer in parade
funds committed to be paid but not yet paid
banking: total amount of checks/cheques or other drafts written against a bank
insurance: premiums taken in but not yet paid out
programming: short form of floating-point number
soft beverage with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream floating in it


  1. Of an object or substance, to be supported by a liquid of greater density than the object so as that part of the object or substance remains above the surface.
    The boat floated on the water.
    The oil floated on the vinegar.
  2. To be capable of floating.
    That boat doesn't float.
    Oil floats on vinegar.
  3. To drift gently through the air.
    The balloon floated off into the distance.
  4. To drift or wander aimlessly.
    I'm not sure where they went... they're floating around here somewhere.
    Images from my childhood floated through my mind.
  5. To move in a particular direction with the liquid in which one is floating
    I'd love to just float downstream.
  6. To move in a fluid manner.
    The dancer floated gracefully around the stage.
  7. To automatically adjust a parameter as related parameters change.
  8. intransitive finance (of currencies) To have an exchange value determined by the markets as opposed to by rule.
    The yen floats against the dollar.
  9. (of an idea or scheme) To be viable.
    That's a daft idea... it'll never float.
  10. To cause something to be suspended in a liquid of greater density; as, to float a boat.
  11. To propose (an idea) for consideration.
    I floated the idea of free ice-cream on Fridays, but no one was interested.
  12. To extend a short-term loan to.
    Could you float me $50 until payday?
  13. transitive finance To allow (the exchange value of a currency) to be determined by the markets.
    The government floated the pound in January.
  14. To issue or sell shares in a company (or units in a trust) to members of the public, followed by listing on a stock exchange.
    2005, He floated the company on the Milan Stock Exchange last December and sold 29 per cent of its shares, mostly to American investors. — article by Dewi Cooke, The Age newspaper, 21 June 2005 (about Mario Moretti Polegato)


be supported by a liquid
be capable of floating
drift gently through the air
move in a particular direction with the liquid in which one is floating
move in a fluid manner
  • Dutch: vloeien
  • Finnish: lipua, leijua
  • French: flotter
  • German: gleiten, schweben
  • Lithuanian: tekėti
  • Spanish: flotar
automatically adjust a parameter as related parameters change
  • Dutch: vloeien
allow a price to be determined by the markets as opposed to by rule
  • Finnish: kellua
  • French: flotter
  • Japanese: 超える (koeru)
cause to be suspended
propose for consideration
extend a short-term loan to
  • German: borgen
Translations to be checked


Extensive Definition

Float or floating may refer to the following:



  • Buoyancy
  • Floating (psychological phenomenon), slipping into altered states
  • Dampening, the guitar technique of sustaining a chord rather than scratching, also known as "floating"
  • Floating currency, a currency that uses a floating exchange rate as its exchange rate regime
  • Floating exchange rate, a type of exchange rate regime wherein a currency's value is allowed to fluctuate according to the foreign exchange market
  • Floating (dance), a group of footwork-oriented dance techniques closely related to popping
  • Floating point, a datatype in computer science
  • Floating, in electronics, being electrically disconnected from a power source, for example, a floating-gate transistor has a gate element insulated from its electrodes
  • Floating, in computer typesetting environments such as HTML, wikitext, or desktop publishing, describes the alignment of an element to the left or right while text wraps around it
  • Floating (album), the third album by the German progressive rock band Eloy
  • Isolation tank use is often referred to as "floating".
float in German: Float
float in Dutch: Float
float in Japanese: フロート
float in Thai: โฟลต

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Carling float, arrange, ascend, aspire, balsa, balsa raft, barge, bathe, bear up, become airborne, boat, bob, boom, brandish, bring off, bring up, broach, bundle, bundle off, buoy, buoy up, bus, carry off, cart, christen, claw skyward, coach, consummate, cork, dart, deluge, dip, dive, dray, drift, drown, duck, dunk, effect, establish, ferry, flap, flaunt, float high, flood, flourish, flow on, flutter, fly, fly aloft, foot, found, gain altitude, get, get going, get moving, ghost, give a start, glide, go in swimming, go in wading, go public, hang, haul, hold up, hover, inaugurate, induct, initiate, install, institute, introduce, inundate, issue, issue stock, kick off, kite, launch, leave the ground, levitate, life buoy, life preserver, life raft, lift up, lighter, negotiate, organize, plane, platform, plow the deep, poise, pontoon, pour on, pull off, put in motion, raft, rain, raise, ride, ride high, ride the sea, ring in, rise, run, sail, scud, send, send forth, send off, set afloat, set agoing, set going, set in motion, set on foot, set up, shake, ship, shoot, skim, skinny-dip, sled, sledge, slip, sluice, soar, spire, start, start going, start off, start up, submerge, surfboard, sustain, swamp, swim, swing, take off, transact, tread water, truck, turn on, undulate, upbear, uphold, uplift, upraise, usher in, van, wade, waft, wag, wagon, walk the waters, wash, wave, wheelbarrow, whelm, wield, wigwag, zoom
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