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From Middle Dutch boeye (float, buoy), perhaps a special use of Middle Dutch boeye (shackle, fetter), from Old French buie (fetter, chain), from Latin boia (a (leather) collar, band, fetter), from Ancient Greek βόεος (bóeos), βόειος (bóeios, of ox-hide), from βοῦς (boûs, ox), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷow- (cow).



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buoy (plural buoys)

  1. (nautical) A float moored in water to mark a location, warn of danger, or indicate a navigational channel.
  2. A life-buoy.



buoy (third-person singular simple present buoys, present participle buoying, simple past and past participle buoyed)

  1. (transitive) To keep afloat or aloft; used with up.
  2. (transitive) To support or maintain at a high level.
    • Burke
      Those old prejudices, which buoy up the ponderous mass of his nobility, wealth, and title.
  3. (transitive) To mark with a buoy.
    to buoy an anchor; to buoy or buoy off a channel
    • Darwin
      Not one rock near the surface was discovered which was not buoyed by this floating weed.
  4. To maintain or enhance enthusiasm or confidence
    • 2013, Daniel Taylor, Danny Welbeck leads England's rout of Moldova but hit by Ukraine ban (in The Guardian, 6 September 2013)[1]
      It ended up being a bittersweet night for England, full of goals to send the crowd home happy, buoyed by the news that Montenegro and Poland had drawn elsewhere in Group H but also with a measure of regret about what happened to Danny Welbeck and what it means for Roy Hodgson's team going into a much more difficult assignment against Ukraine.
    Buoyed by the huge success, they announced two other projects.
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