barge

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barge,

large boat, generally flat-bottomed, used for transporting goods. Most barges on inland waterways are towed, but some river barges are self-propelled. There are also sailing barges. On the Great Lakes and in the American coastal trade, huge steel barges are used for transporting bulk cargoes such as coal. Large flat-bottomed barges called lighters are used for transporting cargo to or from a vessel that cannot be berthed at a pier or dock; LASH (for lighter-aboard ship) vessels are equipped to receive and unload lighters on board and thus reduce the time spent in port. Barge towing, done in the past by men or by horses or mules, is now accomplished mostly by steam or motor tugboat or by other, self-propelled barges. In use since the dawn of history, barges were common on the Nile in ancient Egypt. Some were highly decorated and used for carrying royalty; use of such state barges persisted in Europe until modern times.

barge

[bärj]
(naval architecture)
A large cargo-carrying craft which is towed or pushed by a tug on both seagoing and inland waters.

barge

1. a vessel, usually flat-bottomed and with or without its own power, used for transporting freight, esp on canals
2. a vessel, often decorated, used in pageants, for state occasions, etc.
3. Austral informal a heavy or cumbersome surfboard
References in classic literature ?
Running in cake-ice all the way, and several times escaping jams in the Yukon Flats, the barges made their hundreds of miles of progress farther into the north and froze up cheek by jowl with the grub-fleet.
At first it came dribbling in by rail in trucks, till the thaw set in; and then fast, in a multitude of barges, with a great rush of unbound waters.
He rides to where the barges lie in readiness, and the great Barons step forth from their ranks to meet him.
At every mooring-chain and rope, at every stationery boat or barge that split the current into a broad- arrowhead, at the offsets from the piers of Southwark Bridge, at the paddles of the river steamboats as they beat the filthy water, at the floating logs of timber lashed together lying off certain wharves, his shining eyes darted a hungry look.
These gigantic walls, diminished every tide by the barges for Belle-Isle were, in the eyes of the musketeer, the consequence and the proof of what he had well divined at Pirial.
We flashed past barges, steamers, merchant-vessels, in and out, behind this one and round the other.
For, now, the last of the fleet of ships was round the last low point we had headed; and the last green barge, straw-laden, with a brown sail, had followed; and some ballast-lighters, shaped like a child's first rude imitation of a boat, lay low in the mud; and a little squat shoal-lighthouse on open piles, stood crippled in the mud on stilts and crutches; and slimy stakes stuck out of the mud, and slimy stones stuck out of the mud, and red landmarks and tidemarks stuck out of the mud, and an old landing-stage and an old roofless building slipped into the mud, and all about us was stagnation and mud.
In one of these barges sat the Queen of that country with her only daughter, a maiden more beautiful than the Day Star, and attended by the ladies of the Court.
Long stood Sir Bedivere thinking of all that had come and gone, watching the barge as it glided silently away, and listening to the wailing voices,
At last they cleared the dread Fifty Mile River and came out on Lake Le Barge.
An ancient and still bullet-speckled stern-wheel steamer, with a barge lashed to her side, came round the river bend.
One was the barge which he had brought from Mackinaw; another was of a larger size, such as was formerly used in navigating the Mohawk River, and known by the generic name of the Schenectady barge; the other was a large keel boat, at that time the grand conveyance on the Mississippi.