buoy

A buoy is a floating marker that indicates the presence of underwater hazards, channels, or places for tying up boats. When buoy is a verb, it can mean to float like a buoy, literally or figuratively. Winning an award could buoy your spirits as if you are floating with pride.

The verb buoy can mean "boost or increase." There aren't many things that will buoy your confidence as much as repeated compliments on how great your new haircut looks. Imagine seeing water buoy up an enormous swan, or the wind buoy up a kite. A more figurative meaning of buoy is to cheer or lift someone's spirits. One way to remember buoy's unusual spelling is the phrase, "Boats usually opt to steer around a buoy."

Definitions of buoy
  1. noun
    bright-colored; a float attached by rope to the seabed to mark channels in a harbor or underwater hazards
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 6 types...
    hide 6 types...
    acoustic buoy
    a buoy that can be heard (at night)
    can, can buoy
    a buoy with a round bottom and conical top
    conical buoy, nun, nun buoy
    a buoy resembling a cone
    spar buoy
    a buoy resembling a vertical log
    bell buoy, gong buoy
    a buoy with a bell on it
    whistle buoy, whistling buoy
    a buoy that makes a whistling noise
    type of:
    point of reference, reference, reference point
    an indicator that orients you generally
  2. verb
    keep afloat
    “The life vest buoyed him up”
    synonyms: buoy up
    see moresee less
    type of:
    hold, hold up, support, sustain
    be the physical support of; carry the weight of
  3. verb
    float on the surface of water
    see moresee less
    type of:
    float, swim
    be afloat either on or below a liquid surface and not sink to the bottom
  4. verb
    mark with a buoy
    see moresee less
    type of:
    mark
    designate as if by a mark
  5. verb
    give encouragement to
    synonyms: cheer, embolden, hearten, recreate
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    dishearten, put off
    take away the enthusiasm of
    types:
    buck up, take heart
    gain courage
    type of:
    encourage
    inspire with confidence; give hope or courage to
Word Family