Gon"do*la(?), n. [It., dim. of gonda a gondola; cf. LL. gandeia a kind of boat, Gr. a drinking vessel; said to be a Persian word; cf. F. gondole gondola, cup.]
1. A long, narrow boat with a high prow and stern, used in the canals of Venice. A gondola is usually propelled by one or two oarsmen who stand facing the prow, or by poling. A gondola for passengers has a small open cabin amidships, for their protection against the sun or rain. A sumptuary law of Venice required that gondolas should be painted black, and they are customarily so painted now.
2. A flat-bottomed boat for freight.
3. A long platform car, either having no sides or with very low sides, used on railroads.
(Aronautics) An elongated car under a dirigible.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
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