ocean·​og·​ra·​phy ˌō-shə-ˈnä-grə-fē How to pronounce oceanography (audio)
: a science that deals with the oceans and includes the delimitation of their extent and depth, the physics and chemistry of their waters, marine biology, and the exploitation of their resources
oceanographer noun
oceanographic adjective
or less commonly oceanographical
oceanographically adverb

Examples of oceanography in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 2023 honorees come from a range of research disciplines, including neuroscience, oceanography and pollination ecology, and their work is on display at the San Diego Natural History Museum now through January. Cameron Fozi, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Aug. 2023 The abrupt rupture is jeopardizing data on climate change, oceanography, and ecology that stretch back decades. Bywarren Cornwall, science.org, 3 May 2023 Some of the classes were for fun or enrichment — like oceanography and paper plane making. Paloma Esquivelstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 7 Dec. 2022 That’s the Argo Data Management system, which broke new ground for oceanography. IEEE Spectrum, 17 June 2022 Titanic wreck in 1985 and a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, told ABC News that the implosion likely occurred as the submersible was ascending to the surface. Nick Stoico, BostonGlobe.com, 22 June 2023 Professor Robert Ballard, professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, points to his footage of the wreck of the Titanic that is part of the exhibition on display in the Belfast Building, Northern Ireland, on April 14, 2012. Cara Tabachnick, CBS News, 22 June 2023 Extensive dredging operations have been carried out in recent years by the department of oceanography of the University of Washington in a study of the distribution and assemblage patterns of plants and animals in Puget Sound. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 28 June 2017 For example, the seaweed could cause issues for hotel workers and others who may spend hours removing the decomposing sargassum from beaches, said Chuanmin Hu, a professor of oceanography at the University of South Florida, which studies the bloom. Sarah Bahari, Dallas News, 29 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oceanography.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from German Ozeanographie, Oceanographie from Ozean, Ocean ocean + -o- -o- + -graphie -graphy (after Geographie geography, Aërographie "meteorology")

Note: The German word was apparently introduced by the German seaman and academic Eduard Bobrik (1802-70) in Handbuch der praktischen Seefahrtskunde, Band 1 (Zürich/Hamburg, 1846), p. 79 ff.

First Known Use

1859, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oceanography was in 1859

Dictionary Entries Near oceanography

Cite this Entry

“Oceanography.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oceanography. Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


ocean·​og·​ra·​phy ˌō-shə-ˈnäg-rə-fē How to pronounce oceanography (audio)
: a science that deals with the ocean
oceanographer noun
oceanographic adjective
oceanographically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on oceanography

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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