adverb, adjective

  1. floating or borne on the water; in a floating condition: The ship was set afloat.
  2. on board a ship, boat, raft, etc.; at sea: cargo afloat and ashore.
  3. covered with water; flooded; awash: The main deck was afloat.
  4. moving without being guided or controlled; drifting.
  5. passing from place to place; in circulation: A rumor is afloat.
  6. free of major trouble, especially financially solvent: to keep a venture afloat.

adjective, adverb (postpositive)

  1. floating
  2. aboard ship; at sea
  3. covered with water; flooded
  4. aimlessly driftingafloat in a sea of indecision
  5. in circulation; afootnasty rumours were afloat
  6. free of debt; solvent

Old English aflote, on flot, from a- “on” (see a- (1)) + float (v.).

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