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pro·a(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.
(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
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)]
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