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 (prō′ə) also prau (prou) or prah·u (prä′o͞o)
A swift traditional sailboat especially in Southeast Asia and Micronesia, having a triangular sail and single outrigger.

[Alteration (probably influenced by Portuguese and Spanish proa, prow) of Early Modern English prow, alteration (influenced by prow) of earlier praw, ultimately (probably partly via Dutch prauw, proa and Portuguese parao, a kind of deckless boat used in the Indian ocean, proa; and Portuguese, partly also from Malayalam pāru, boat) from Malay perahu and perhaps also Javanese prau, both from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *paraqu; compare Ngadha (Malayo-Polynesian language of Flores) barau, sailboat, and Tolai (Malayo-Polynesian language of northeast New Britain) parau, boat.]


(ˈprəʊə) or


(Nautical Terms) any of several kinds of canoe-like boats used in the South Pacific, esp one equipped with an outrigger and sails
[C16: from Malay parāhū a boat]


(ˈproʊ ə)

n., pl. pro•as.
any of various Indonesian vessels, esp. a swift sailboat with a single outrigger.
[1575–85; < Malay pərahu, pərau (sp. perahu) (< Kannada paḍahu, or a cognate Dravidian word)]
References in classic literature ?
So it was that as the second mate of the Ithaca with his six men waded down the bed of the little stream toward the harbor and the ship, a fleet of ten war prahus manned by over five hundred fierce Dyaks and commanded by Muda Saffir himself, pulled cautiously into the little cove upon the opposite side of the island, and landed but a quarter of a mile from camp.
In subdued whispers he sent a half dozen of his Dyaks back beneath the shadow of the palisade to the opposite side of the bungalow where they were to enter the building, killing all within except the girl, whom they were to carry straight to the beach and the war prahus.
So the ten war prahus of the Malay pulled quietly out of the little cove upon the east side of the island, and bending their way toward the south circled its southern extremity and bore away for Borneo.
Lumholtz (1920 II: 426) also writes about the Kenyahs walking extensively in central Borneo; groups trekked overland and then, when they were able to use rivers or streams, made "new prahus and then continue the journey", a practice similar to that used by the Kelabits described above.
Madurese seafarers; prahus, timber and illegality on the margins of the Indonesian state.
Instead of sailing in tall ships, modern pirates tend to sail in smaller, quicker boats such as canoes around Western Africa, (61) fast outboard prahus in the Singapore area, (62) and sometimes in yachts that they have hijacked at sea.
36) As an example, "In 1824, 119 prahus from Brunei arrived in Singapore, carrying black pepper, camphor, beche-de-mer, and antimony .
Beside the wharf lay dozens of prahus whose occupants wore large domed hats giving an effect of a field of mushrooms on the water.
10) One of the prahus from Sambas mounted a determined attack on the Minto during the survey of the Borneo coast (JG 1/35:24 Oct 1812; Countess of Minto 1888:279).
He was driven away after a fierce battle with armed vessels sent by the Dutch Resident and after, according to his own account, capturing two prahus under Dutch colors (Richardson 1805:60).
They were clearly much more of a threat than the large prahus that were the standard pirate vessels.
Over two centuries ago, a Buginese writer chronicled that "Lanun" in double-decked prahus up to 90 or 100 feet long, rowed by perhaps one hundred slaves and armed with intricately wrought swivel-cannon cast in bronze, were plundering villages and robbing Malay fishers in the Straits of Malacca and the Riau Islands.