\ˈsē \

Definition of sea 

1a : a great body of salt water that covers much of the earth broadly : the waters of the earth as distinguished from the land and air

b : a body of salt water of second rank more or less landlocked the Mediterranean sea

c : ocean

d : an inland body of water used especially for names of such bodies the Caspian Sea

2a : surface motion on a large body of water or its direction also : a large swell or wave often used in plural heavy seas

b : the disturbance of the ocean or other body of water due to the wind

3 : something likened to the sea especially in vastness a sea of faces

4 : the seafaring life

at sea

1 : on the sea specifically : on a sea voyage

to sea

: to or on the open waters of the sea

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Other Words from sea

sea adjective

Examples of sea in a Sentence

the seas of the Southern Hemisphere millions of plants and animals live in the sea

Recent Examples on the Web

Her body was found in the sea, mutilated, almost 12 days later. Brooke A. Lewis, Houston Chronicle, "Murder trial begins for young woman who shot aspiring rapper in Cinco Ranch home," 12 July 2018 Doctors believe that the Vibrio bacteria, which is often found in warmer waters where the river meets the sea, is behind his infection. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "NJ dad may lose all 4 limbs after contracting bacterial infection while crabbing," 10 July 2018 It's expected to become a hurricane on Tuesday and then head out to sea, potentially clipping Atlantic Canada as a tropical storm later in the week. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Tropical trouble: Beryl's remnants threaten Puerto Rico, as Chris spins near Carolinas," 9 July 2018 Buy Photo At the once-bustling Burlington Center mall, extinct department stores perch on the edge of a bleak asphalt sea, spiky weeds bob in the summer breeze, and some trees are dying as if from a plague. Kevin Riordan,, "All sales final: N.J.'s 'worst' and 'saddest' shopping mall is going out of business," 9 July 2018 Gardens abound, as do horses, flowers, seas, dreams, generals, mountains, heads and monsters, making for a generally airy atmosphere coupled with Gallardo’s substantial preoccupations: life, death, evil, Edens, priests, murder and God. Scott Cheshire,, "Sara Gallardo's work has finally been published in English. It's about time," 6 July 2018 Other objectives Mogherini outlined included maintaining wider economic relations with Iran, financial channels, Iran's export of oil and gas, and the continuation of sea, land, air and rail transportation links. Kiyoko Metzler,, "With U.S. out, others reaffirm commitment to Iran nuclear deal," 6 July 2018 Situated between Russia and the Baltic sea, tiny Estonia has been especially wary of its former occupier since 2007, when a massive cyber attack from Russian servers crippled Estonia's government, banks, and news organizations, according to the BBC. Avi Selk, Anchorage Daily News, "US ambassador to Estonia abruptly resigns over Trump's attacks on allies," 1 July 2018 According to the paper, plastics in the deep-sea, where there is no UV light and little turbulence, could potentially remain there for hundreds to thousands of years. Marisa Spyker, ajc, "Scientists just made a disturbing discovery at the bottom of the Mariana Trench," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sea.' 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 sea

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sea

Middle English see, from Old English ; akin to Old High German sea, Goth saiws

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Dictionary Entries near sea





sea acorn

sea adder

sea air

Statistics for sea

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sea

The first known use of sea was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for sea



English Language Learners Definition of sea

: the salt water that covers much of the Earth's surface ( literary )

: a large body of water that is part of the sea or that has land around part or all of it

: an area of the sea


\ˈsē \

Kids Definition of sea

1 : a body of salt water not as large as an ocean and often nearly surrounded by land

3 : rough water A high sea swept the deck.

4 : something suggesting a sea's great size or depth The speaker looked out on a sea of faces.

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Comments on sea

What made you want to look up sea? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

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