oce·​an·​ic | \ ˌō-shē-ˈa-nik How to pronounce oceanic (audio) \

Definition of oceanic

1a : of or relating to the ocean
b : occurring in or frequenting the ocean and especially the open sea as distinguished from littoral or neritic waters
2 : vast, great
3 Oceanic, linguistics : relating to, belonging to, or characterizing a subfamily of the Austronesian family of languages that is spoken in Polynesia and most of the islands of Melanesia and Micronesia

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for oceanic


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of oceanic in a Sentence

the theory that ancient mariners took advantage of oceanic currents to roam the seas on primitive rafts during his solo crossing of the Atlantic he managed to avoid the fierce oceanic storms that rage in those tropical latitudes
Recent Examples on the Web More than three-quarters of oceanic shark and ray species are now threatened with extinction, jeopardizing marine ecosystems and the food security of people in many nations. Catrin Einhorn, Star Tribune, "Shark populations are crashing, with a 'very small window' to avert disaster," 28 Jan. 2021 And while climate change and pollution also imperil shark survival, increased fishing pressure is the greatest threat for every oceanic shark species. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Shark numbers in 'alarming' worldwide decline as many species face extinction, study says," 28 Jan. 2021 But the format of the podcast can be more immediate; hopefully hearing their voices gives you a better sense of the huge, oceanic emotions roiling beneath the surface of all of our coverage of restaurant closures and layoffs. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "Extra Spicy season premiere: Hear restaurant staffers recount the pandemic's toll," 1 Feb. 2021 As far as the oceanic elements go, the Under the Sea Mobile, Whale Storage Basket, and Be on the Sea Floor Mat from Crate & Kids enhance the theme. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, "Parachute Founder Ariel Kaye's Nursery Is an Oceanic Oasis," 26 Jan. 2021 Primates made oceanic journeys to new places over and over again through prehistoric time, and paleontologists may find additional evidence of these dispersals in the fossil record. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, "More Than 30 Million Years Ago, Monkeys Rafted Across the Atlantic to South America," 9 Apr. 2020 The gliders are expected to bring 50% more oceanic observations than previous undertakings. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Facts: Which storm saw a record 75 mph power jump in 24 hours?," 21 Dec. 2020 This oceanic discovery may spark innovations including ultra-black materials that could be used as camouflage for night ops. Danielle Hall, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2020," 17 Dec. 2020 The plate under the water, made of dense oceanic crust, plunged beneath the southern edge of the more buoyant rocks that make up the Eurasian continental plate, creating a feature known as a subduction zone. Science, "Why Mount Everest keeps changing its height," 8 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oceanic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of oceanic

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for oceanic

borrowed from Latin Ōceanicus, from Ōceanus "the sea flowing around the land mass of the known world, ocean" + -icus -ic entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oceanic

Time Traveler for oceanic

Time Traveler

The first known use of oceanic was in 1656

See more words from the same year

Statistics for oceanic

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oceanic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oceanic. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for oceanic


oce·​an·​ic | \ ˌō-shē-ˈa-nik How to pronounce oceanic (audio) \

Kids Definition of oceanic

: of or relating to the ocean

More from Merriam-Webster on oceanic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oceanic

Nglish: Translation of oceanic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on oceanic

What made you want to look up oceanic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!