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

  • n. Nautical A lightweight narrow barge with ends that curve up into a point and often a small cabin in the middle, propelled with a single oar from the stern and used on the canals of Venice.
  • n. Nautical A flatbottom riverboat.
  • n. A gondola car.
  • n. A basket, enclosure, or instrument sling suspended from and carried aloft by a balloon.
  • n. An enclosed structure suspended from a cable, used for conveying passengers, as to and from a ski slope.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small long, narrow boat with a high prow and stern, propelled with a single oar, especially in Venice.
  • n. A hanging platform or car for transporting people or cargo.
  • n. A type of open railway car with low sides, used to carry heavy freight such as crushed rock or steel.
  • n. A free-standing shelving unit in a supermarket.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A long, narrow boat with a high prow and stern, used in the canals of Venice. A gondola is usually propelled by one or two oarsmen who stand facing the prow, or by poling. A gondola for passengers has a small open cabin amidships, for their protection against the sun or rain. A sumptuary law of Venice required that gondolas should be painted black, and they are customarily so painted now.
  • n. A flat-bottomed boat for freight.
  • n. A long platform car, either having no sides or with very low sides, used on railroads.
  • n. An elongated car under a dirigible.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A flat-bottomed boat, very long and narrow, formerly almost the exclusive means of conveyance in Venice, on the canals, but now superseded in part on the chief canals by small omnibus-steamers.
  • n. A lighter or large flat-bottomed boat on the rivers of New England. In this use also gondelo, gundelo.
  • n. A small boat used to transport the passengers or crew of a ship to and from the shore.
  • n. On a railroad, a gondola car. See below.
  • n. A vase or bowl of decorative character having a wide mouth, and usually of greater breadth than height: a term applied especially to carved vessels in crystal, agate, and similar materials.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] In conchology, a genus of gastropods: same as Cymbium, 1. Fèrussac;, 1821
  • n. A coach of unusual size with a boat-shaped bottom and seats for eight or more persons.

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

  • n. long narrow flat-bottomed boat propelled by sculling; traditionally used on canals of Venice
  • n. the compartment that is suspended from an airship and that carries personnel and the cargo and the power plant
  • n. a low flat-bottomed freight car with fixed sides but no roof


Italian, from Old Italian gondula.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Venetian, which likely derives from Byzantine Greek κοντούρα (kontoura, "small tail"). (Wiktionary)



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