noun, often attributive \ˈō-shən\

: the salt water that covers much of the Earth's surface

: one of the five large areas of salt water that cover much of the Earth's surface

: a very large number or amount of something

Full Definition of OCEAN

a :  the whole body of salt water that covers nearly three fourths of the surface of the earth
b :  any of the large bodies of water (as the Atlantic Ocean) into which the great ocean is divided
:  a very large or unlimited space or quantity

Examples of OCEAN

  1. We've sailed across hundreds of miles of ocean.
  2. the Pacific and Indian oceans

Origin of OCEAN

Middle English occean, from Anglo-French, from Latin oceanus, from Greek Ōkeanos, a river thought of as encircling the earth, ocean
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Oceanography Terms

littoral, sound

Rhymes with OCEAN


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Large, continuous body of salt water. Ocean covers nearly 71% of the Earth's surface and is divided into major oceans and smaller seas. The three principal oceans, the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian, are largely delimited by land and submarine topographic boundaries. All are connected to what is sometimes called the Southern Ocean, the waters encircling Antarctica. Important marginal seas, primarily in the Northern Hemisphere, are partially enclosed by landmasses or island arcs. The largest are the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas, Caribbean and adjacent waters, Mediterranean, Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, Yellow and China Seas, and Sea of Japan.


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