What Does Float Mean (in Stocks)? - TheStreet Definition

Dictionary of Financial Terms

The float is the number of shares actually available for trading. Float is calculated by subtracting closely held shares -- owned by insiders, employees, the company's Employee Stock Ownership Plan or other major long-term shareholders -- from the total shares outstanding. At the right price, of course, the closely held shares may start to float. Funny how that works.

Definitions of Financial Terms