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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Canoe \Ca*noe"\, n.; pl. Canoes. [Sp. canoa, fr. Caribbean can['a]oa.]

  1. A boat used by rude nations, formed of trunk of a tree, excavated, by cutting of burning, into a suitable shape. It is propelled by a paddle or paddles, or sometimes by sail, and has no rudder.

    Others devised the boat of one tree, called the canoe.

  2. A boat made of bark or skins, used by savages.

    A birch canoe, with paddles, rising, falling, on the water.

  3. A light pleasure boat, especially designed for use by one who goes alone upon long excursions, including portage. It it propelled by a paddle, or by a small sail attached to a temporary mast.


n. (plural of canoe English) vb. (en-third-person singular of: canoe)

Usage examples of "canoes".

Many of their willow and straw mats, baskets, and buffalo-skin canoes remain entire within the camp.

I observed several canoes made of a single buffalo skin, with three squaws, cross the river today in waves as high as I ever saw on this river-quite uncomposed.

We halted above, and about 30 of the Indians came over in their canoes of skins.

Just above the entrance of the Little Missouri, the Great Missouri is upwards of a mile in width, though immediately at the entrance of the former it is not more than 200 yards wide and so shallow that the canoes passed it with setting poles.

The Indians inform that the Yellowstone River is navigable for pirogues and canoes nearly to its source in the Rocky Mountains, and that in its course, near these mountains, it passes within less than half a day's march of a navigable part of the Missouri.

Captain Lewis, 12 May 1805 Men saw to the rear canoes discovered a large brown bear lying in the open grounds about 300 paces from the river, and six of them went out to attack him -all good hunters.

Captain Lewis, 22 May 1805 The two canoes which we left behind yesterday to bring on the meat did not arrive this morning until 8 A.

We therefore took as much of the meat as our canoes and pirogues could conveniently carry.

Accordingly, we dispatched two light canoes with three men in each up those streams.

The parties who had been sent up the rivers in canoes informed that they ascended some distance and had then left their canoes and walked up the rivers a considerable distance farther, barely leaving themselves time to return.

As soon as the shower had passed over we drew out our canoes, corked, repaired, and loaded them I still feel myself somewhat unwell with the dysentery, but determined to set out in the morning up the south fork or Missouri, leaving Captain Clark to complete the deposit and follow me by water with the party.

The river was one continued scene of rapids and cascades, which I readily perceived could not be encountered with our canoes, and the cliffs still retained their perpendicular structure, and were from 150 to 200 feet high.

We find great difficulty in getting the pirogue and canoes up in safety.

I set six men at work to prepare four sets of truck wheels with couplings, tongues and bodies, that they might either be used without the bodies for transporting our canoes, or with them in transporting our baggage.

This duty being completed, I employed them in taking five of the small canoes up the creek, which we now call Portage Creek, about 1 3/4 miles.