Meaning of boat people

boat' peo"ple

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. refugees who have fled a country by boat, usually without sufficient provisions, navigational aids, or a set destination, esp. those who left Indochina by sea as a result of the fall of South Vietnam in 1975.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.