a. A small fleet.
b. A fleet of small craft.
2. A naval unit consisting of two or more squadrons of small warships.
3. Informal A group of vehicles owned or operated as a unit: a flotilla of limousines.
[Spanish, diminutive of flota, fleet, from Old French flote, from Old Norse floti; see pleu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.