Definition of pelagic
: of, relating to, or living or occurring in the open sea : oceanic pelagic sediment pelagic birds
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Examples of pelagic in a Sentence
among pelagic animals the undisputed king is the blue whale, the largest creature currently roaming the face of the earth
at one time pelagic whaling was the cornerstone of the island's economy
Recent Examples of pelagic from the Web
Most of the small pelagic fish that swim in Senegalese waters — and make up 85 percent of the nation’s protein consumption — migrate in enormous schools between Morocco and Sierra Leone.
These learnings are now driving the development of new experiments for the next trip, such as trying to quantify the shockwaves close to the vent to understand the tolerance of the pelagic fish and sharks that are living around this volcano.
Recently, the bright red tuna crabs — known as pelagic red crab or pleuroncodes planipes — were spotted on the beach at Lovers Point in Pacific Grove and further out in the bay where gulls have been seen feeding off them.
UC Davis professor of evolution and ecology Eric Sanford says the 18 pelagic red crabs are the first ones reported this far north since 1985, when there was an isolated sighting recorded in Fort Bragg.
Reef fish lose their habitat, and pelagic fish such as tuna lose an important source of food.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pelagic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Pelagic comes to us from Greek, via Latin. The Greek word pelagikos became "pelagicus" in Latin and then "pelagic" in English. ("Pelagikos" is derived from "pelagos," the Greek word for "sea," plus the adjectival suffix -ikos.) "Pelagic" first showed up in dictionaries in 1656; a definition from that time says that Pelagick meant "of the Sea, or that liveth in the Sea." A full 350 years later, writers are still using "pelagic" with the same meaning, albeit less frequently than its more familiar synonym "oceanic."
PELAGIC Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pelagic for English Language Learners
: relating to or living in the sea far from the shore
Seen and Heard
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