float

Definitions

General English

  • verb to put something on the top of a liquid
  • verb to stay in the air without any effort

General Science

Accounting

  • noun the process of starting a new company by selling shares in it on the stock exchange
  • noun the process of allowing a currency to settle at its own exchange rate, without any government intervention
  • noun the period between the presentation of a cheque as payment and the actual payment to the payee, or the financial advantage provided by this period to the drawer of a cheque
  • verb to let a currency settle at its own exchange rate on the international markets and not be fixed

Aviation

  • noun a floating ball attached to a lever to regulate the level of a liquid in a tank, etc.
  • noun a hollow structure fixed below an aircraft that allows it to float on water.

Cars & Driving

  • noun a hollow metal or plastic body that floats on a liquid and operates a valve or a rheostat, as in a carburettor, where it is used to maintain the correct fuel level, or in a fuel tank, where it is used to sense fuel level for the fuel gauge

Computing

  • noun the addition of the origin address to all indexed or relative addresses to check the amount of memory a program will require

Construction

  • A tool, usually of wood, aluminum, magnesium, rubber, or sponge, used in concrete or tilefinishing operations to impart a relatively even but still open texture to an unformed fresh concrete surface.
  • To rest by a dozer blade's own weight or to be held from digging by upward pressure of a load of dirt against its mold board.
  • A body floating on water, which opens a valve in a water tank when the water level falls.
  • A tool used to polish marble.
  • In manufacturing, the amount of material in a system or process, at a given point in time, that is not being directly employed or worked upon.
  • In projects, the amount of time that an activity may slip in its start and completion before becoming critical.

Economics

  • noun an amount of cash taken from a central supply and used for running expenses

Electronics

  • To apply a float charge.
  • To leave isolated from a ground connection.
  • To leave isolated from a voltage supply.

Military

  • verb to rest upon the surface of water

Real Estate

  • noun a tool with a handle and flat rectangular blade for applying plaster to a wall
  • noun a hollow ball that forms part of a ballcock, designed to rest on the water level in a tank to regulate the flow of water

Sports

  • noun a buoyant rectangular board that supports the arms and top of the body of a swimmer, used for learning to swim and for kicking training

Theater

  • see footlight.

Origin & History of “float”

Germanic *fleut-, which produced English fleet, had the so-called ‘weak grades’ (that is, variant forms which because they were weakly stressed had different vowels) *flot- and *flut-. The former was the source of Germanic *flotōjan, which passed into late Old English as flotian and eventually ousted flēotan (modern English fleet) from its original meaning ‘float’. It also seems to have been borrowed into the romance languages, producing French flotter, Italian fiottare, and Spanish flotar (a diminutive of the Spanish noun derivative flota gave English flotilla (18th c.)). The latter formed the basis of Old Norse flytja, acquired by English as flit (12th c.), and of Old English floterian, which became modern English flutter.
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