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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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)]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
Madurese seafarers: Prahus, timber, and illegality on the margins of the Indonesian state By KURT STENROSS Singapore: NUS Press (in association with the Asian Studies Association of Australia), 2011.
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 ...
Madurese seafarers: Prahus, timber and illegality in the margins of the Indonesian state
Slave-trading ships like the Arab dhow and Lacun prahus are not structurally compared to the snow, brigantine, and schooner of the Atlantic trade.
Beside the wharf lay dozens of prahus whose occupants wore large domed hats giving an effect of a field of mushrooms on the water.