pelagic

adjective pe·lag·ic \ pə-ˈla-jik \

Definition of pelagic

:of, relating to, or living or occurring in the open sea :oceanic
  • pelagic sediment
  • pelagic birds

pelagic

noun

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Examples of pelagic in a Sentence

  1. among pelagic animals the undisputed king is the blue whale, the largest creature currently roaming the face of the earth

  2. at one time pelagic whaling was the cornerstone of the island's economy

Recent Examples of pelagic from the Web

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."

Origin and Etymology of pelagic

Latin pelagicus, from Greek pelagikos, from pelagos sea — more at plagal


PELAGIC Defined for English Language Learners

pelagic

adjective

Definition of pelagic for English Language Learners

  • : relating to or living in the sea far from the shore



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