float (up)on (something)

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float (up)on (something)

To bob, drift, or glide over or on a particular surface. Look at all the ducks just floating on the water! The paper airplane floated upon the air for a few seconds before sinking to the ground.
See also: float
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

float (up)on something

to drift as if on the surface of something; to drift along through the air. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) The little tufts of dandelion seeds floated upon the breeze. The fluff floated on the breeze.
See also: float, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
What would these divinities think of India, anglicised as it is to-day, with steamers whistling and scudding along the Ganges, frightening the gulls which float upon its surface, the turtles swarming along its banks, and the faithful dwelling upon its borders?
At such moments the soul retires within, to float upon the bosom of a deeper stream, and has communion with the dead, and sees the world's glory not diminished, but different in kind to what she has supposed.
An enormous ditch, sometimes two or three miles wide, running liquid mud, six miles an hour: its strong and frothy current choked and obstructed everywhere by huge logs and whole forest trees: now twining themselves together in great rafts, from the interstices of which a sedgy, lazy foam works up, to float upon the water's top; now rolling past like monstrous bodies, their tangled roots showing like matted hair; now glancing singly by like giant leeches; and now writhing round and round in the vortex of some small whirlpool, like wounded snakes.
And now a great expanse of white vapour covered the land: it flowed cold and gray in the darkness, eddied in noiseless whirls round the tree-trunks and about the platform of the house, which seemed to float upon a restless and impalpable illusion of a sea.
KITAGAWA, Japan -- The mirror-like surface of the pond reflects the shimmering tropical sunlight as colorful water lilies float upon it.
We recently invited officials from the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission and I quickly discovered why rehabilitation of the Pasig River has been slower than the water lilies that float upon its banks.
There was float upon float, each trying to outdo the others in vying for the approval of the judges.
The sequence opens in earthy hues, then as water rises, luminous blues and tones of rose madder and violet alternate with delicate green and umber, and float upon on the picture plane.
Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the country, where houses, boats and markets float upon rivers and canals, everyday life is synced with the ebb and flow of the Great Mekong.
"Ocean Birds": Jealous is the night, the feckless night, coming over us/as water into sea,/the forceful day's geography turned black.//Your body is the sea/I float upon, your skin/becomes the waves./Nothing will ever bring you here to me, nothing/will ever call you back.
The trial court found that the easement was limited to the right to float upon the water and to touch the river bed only in ways "incidental to the right of floatation" Specifically, the court held that wading or walking along the river bed constituted a trespass of private property.
If floats really are unhygienic, what about the chemically treated water they're designed to float upon?
See how the buildings float upon the water in a fine mist,
and float upon the white like a beautiful exotic bird moulting
BISCAYNE N.P., FLA.--As clear turquoise waters roll gently toward shore and birds float upon the gentle tropical breezes, Biscayne National Park doesn't appear to be under siege.