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any small skiff, widely used in the Orient, that is propelled by oars or a scull
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a general name for various types of flat-bottomed wooden boats used in the coastal regions and on the rivers of East and Southeast Asia mainly for transporting passengers and freight. Sampans are up to 9 m long, and 3 m wide and have a load capacity of up to 80 tons. They are propelled by one or two stern oars or by a straight sail made of mats. An awning or cabinlike structure made of mats is sometimes located astern or amidships; it may serve as a dwelling, store, or workshop.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
As the sampan gently rocks, your thumb slowly regains its feeling.
Explore tranquil Kowloon Park or, above, board a sampan for a trip around Aberdeen harbour Chai, it was
Passing through villages which seemed to have forgotten time, a local boat took us up the Thu Bon River and I marvelled at local fishermen manoeuvring their tiny sampans against the tide while still tending their nets.
Lien crouched on the fishing sampan, safe with a foot of green water between them.
Garnier also selected more than 10 different types of marble, including Swedish green, sarancolin, peach blossom turquoise, brocatelle, and sampan from Echaillon and the Dura, to fashion the facade.
The Aberdeen kai do (motorized sampan) stops here; you can catch a ride back to Sok Kwu Wan or to Aberdeen.
A sexagenarian businessman with the honorific title 'Datuk Seri' drowned while his nephew survived when the 'sampan' (small boat) they were in, capsized in Pantai Sungai Ular here last night.
The wounded teenagers were identified as Rene James Sampan, 16, a son of the Sta.
2 Kristin Salimbangon, Tracy Llamas and Bahonsua taking the other berths with 6-2, 6-2; 6-0, 6-0; and 6-2, 6-2 victories over Marie Sampan, Pinkloyd Manabat and Precious Coderos, respectively.
A cruiser passed by in a hurry, causing a sudden swell that lifted the sampan up like a buoy.
Don't miss the chance at Eastern Pearl's Kung Pao Chicken if that's a dish that floats your sampan. As for the mixture, my companion observed, "It's not a peanut thing, it was (more) a vegetable thing.'' But with plenty of big bouncy chunks of chicken to go with large cuts of green pepper and other veggies.