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
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
First Known Use: circa 1656
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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