from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Nautical Any of various lateen-rigged sailing vessels, typically having a raised poop, a raked stem, and one or two masts, used along the coasts of the Indian Ocean.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A coasting vessel of Arabia, East Africa, and the Indian Ocean. It has generally but one mast and a lateen sail.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A coasting vessel of Arabia, East Africa, and the Indian Ocean. It has generally but one mast and a lateen sail.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An Arab vessel, generally with one mast, of from 150 to 250 tons' burden, employed in trading, and also in carrying slaves from the east coast of Africa to the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Also spelled dow.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a lateen-rigged sailing vessel used by Arabs


Perhaps of eastern African origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • A dhow is a traditional Arab trading craft usually limited in size to about 40-100 feet and motor or sail powered.

    Persian Gulf Ship Inspectors-- The Brits Captured by Iran

  • The work of arranging the stuff in the dhow was the most difficult of all, because we dared not light a lantern, yet we also dared not stow things carelessly for fear of confusion when the hour of action came.

    The Ivory Trail

  • Even before the sun grew high the dhow was a comfortless indecent thing, more crowded than anything Noah can have had to tolerate: and we lacked Noah's faith in omniscient guidance, in addition to sailing in a hotter latitude, and having more fleas on board than the pair he is reported to have carried.

    The Ivory Trail

  • He arrived, however, at the conclusion that the dhow was a lawful prize, and to prevent the risk of her ever carrying more slaves, he issued an order that she should immediately be set on fire.

    The Three Commanders

  • As it was evident that the dhow was a lawful trader, Rhymer apologised to the captain, and stepping into his boat pulled for the shore, while the dhow sailed on her course.

    Ned Garth Made Prisoner in Africa. A Tale of the Slave Trade

  • In the latest incident, Pentagon press secretary George Little said the Iranians aboard a cargo boat known as a dhow about 80 kilometres southeast of the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr used flares and flashlights to hail the cutter Monomoy at 3 a.m. local time Tuesday.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • After circling the Somali vessel, known as a dhow, the British launched a small assault vessel.

    FP Passport

  • Now, as sailors know, it is quite impossible for a dhow which is only rigged to run before the monsoon to beat back against it.


  • Because of the close proximity to the "dhow" (a traditional Indian boat), everyone was instructed to leave the area to avoid danger.

    Ottawa Sun

  • The MoD confirmed two suspected pirates were killed by British crew members after the crew of a locally built "dhow" fired at them on Tuesday.

    TFS Magnum


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