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

Greg's Crittercam has enabled him to document life in the oceans and on land from the perspective of more than 80 species, including blue whales, black turtles, emperor penguins, and most recently, giant oceanic manta rays. National Geographic, "Alaska Middle School Expedition," 12 June 2019 While much of the marketing of loofahs shows the sponge in a sea-side setting, surrounded by seashells and the like, loofahs are not the remains of an oceanic creature (unlike sea sponges). Jean Nick, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Your Own Loofah Sponge," 8 May 2017 The oceanic plates drift further and further away from each other across the Earth’s surface, until eventually they are swallowed up by a deep ocean trench or hit the coast. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "We’ve Been Wrong Before: The Expanding Earth Theory," 3 Aug. 2018 And since the boron likely got into the seafloor plates through hydrothermal reactions with seawater, the diamonds’ color is—coincidentally but truthfully—an oceanic blue. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Blue diamonds come from ocean floor that is pushed nearly to Earth’s core," 1 Aug. 2018 The region is the location of most of Earth's subduction zones, where oceanic plates slide under the lighter continental plates. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "California fault line is 'tectonic time bomb' for disastrous earthquake, researchers say," 22 Apr. 2018 And second, the sinking portion of the oceanic plate must be pulling downward pretty hard. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "2017 earthquake off Mexico broke through an entire tectonic plate," 4 Oct. 2018 While this in itself was a lewk, Heard made her oceanic outfit stand out even more with a matching green headpiece that resembled a swimming cap. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Amber Heard Paired Her Valentino Gown With a Swim Cap at Aquaman's London Premiere," 26 Nov. 2018 While royals pulling in big crowds is no new feat, there was something different about Meghan and Harry’s oceanic visit. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "What It's Like to Go on Tour with Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan," 3 Nov. 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

16 Jun 2019

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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

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