Word of the Day – Flotilla

Word of the Day : May 27, 2021


noun floh-TILL-uh


1 : a fleet of ships or boats; especially : a navy organizational unit consisting of two or more squadrons of small warships

2 : an indefinite large number

Did you know?

Flotilla comes from the diminutive form of the Spanish noun flota, meaning “fleet.” Flota derives via Old French from Old Norse floti and is related to Old English flota (meaning “ship” or “fleet”), an ancestor to English’s float. Much like other words referring to groups of particular things (such as swarm), flotilla has taken on expanded usage to refer simply to a large number of something not necessarily having to do with nautical matters, often with humorous effect (e.g., “a flotilla of rather mature-looking male models” — Jed Perl, The New Republic).


“Sometimes, a hot bite, a cold drink, and a flotilla of paddle boats is just right. In fact, after this winter of our discontent, it’s just perfect.” — Merrill Shindler, The Daily Breeze (Torrance, California), 19 Mar. 2021

“The vessel was sunk during an engagement with a Japanese flotilla of much larger battleships, cruisers and destroyers.” — Tim Stanley, The Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, 7 Apr. 2021