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

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Synonyms for oceanic


marine, maritime, pelagic

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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

The Juan de Fuca, a small oceanic plate, is being driven under the North American plate, atop which the continental U.S. sits. The Conversation, oregonlive.com, "Earthquake risk along NW coast is not the same for all areas," 8 July 2019 And the harm caused by microplastics may extend beyond the particles themselves: In the lab, researchers have found that the chemicals leaching out of microplastics may be compromising oceanic oxygen-making bacteria. Matt Simon, WIRED, "How Remote Lakes Could Help Unravel the Mysteries of Microplastic," 1 July 2019 On that voyage, the moon was our stalker, following us the entire way, appearing each night over our shoulders, penetrating this oceanic black. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Exploring Polynesia's Islands by Cruise," 28 June 2019 This usually involves a heavier oceanic plate being shoved below a lighter continental plate. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Plate Tectonics: The Slow Dance of Our Planet's Crust," 12 June 2019 Several paintings locate oceanic expanses inside rectangles that are painted partway between the picture’s center and edge. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Whimsy rendered starkly, in black and white," 7 June 2019 The Hemons hail from a part of Europe that has long been overwhelmed by the oceanic movements of empires and great powers. Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic, "Aleksandar Hemon’s Lost Eden," 6 June 2019 Rising levels of oceanic carbon may inhibit salmon’s ability to smell. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 10 Mar. 2019 The area where the sharks flock to was referred to as the oceanic version of the Sahara desert. Edmund Demarche, Fox News, "Scientists find great white shark lair in Pacific Ocean: report," 18 Sep. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for oceanic

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for oceanic

The first known use of oceanic was in 1656

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on oceanic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oceanic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for oceanic

Spanish Central: Translation of oceanic

Nglish: Translation of oceanic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on oceanic

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