sea change


Definition of sea change

1 archaic : a change brought about by the sea
2 : a marked change : transformation a sea change in public policy

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Did You Know?

In Shakespeare's The Tempest, a sea-change is a change brought about by sea: Full fathom five thy father lies ... / Nothing of him that doth fade / But doth suffer a sea-change. This meaning is the original one, but it's now archaic. Long after sea change had gained its figurative meaning, however, writers continued to allude to Shakespeare's literal one; Charles Dickens, Henry David Thoreau, and P.G. Wodehouse all used the term as an object of the verb suffer.

Examples of sea change in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Meanwhile, a sea change was taking place in U.S. politics. Matthew Bodner And Angela Charlton, Fox News, "Misfire: Maria Butina's strange route from Russia to US jail," 10 Sep. 2018 Kanaan says these computer language skills are vital for weathering the current sea change in battlefield analytics, big data, and artificial intelligence. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Will Teach Computer Coding Like a Foreign Langauge," 13 Sep. 2018 But none of that is to say that there isn’t a sea change taking place inside the Republican Party right now. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "No, free market conservatives are not becoming Dems," 31 July 2018 The sea change has helped them grow as a couple, Asplund said. NBC News, "An American dad in Sweden now has plenty of family time," 4 Apr. 2018 But there’s no doubt that 1826 marked a sea change in American politics. David S. Heidler And Jeanne T. Heidler, WSJ, "Midterms Have Been Punishing Incumbents Since 1826," 25 Oct. 2018 But the rise of 3D printing is happening in tandem with access to orbit becoming much more attainable, triggering a sea change in the launch industry that's only going to continue. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Lockheed Martin Is 3D-Printing Giant Titanium Space Parts," 12 July 2018 In this op-ed about Taylor Swift’s surprisingly political Instagram post, writer Lily Herman breaks down how her endorsement of Democratic candidates fits into a political sea change following Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Lily Herman, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift's Political Instagram Post Is a Sign of the Post–Brett Kavanaugh Times," 8 Oct. 2018 Burberry’s new fur-free policy is part of a sea change in the luxury industry. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Burberry’s Future is Fur-Free—And Much More Sustainable," 6 Sep. 2018

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

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for sea change

Last Updated

6 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for sea change

The first known use of sea change was in 1612

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More Definitions for sea change

sea change


English Language Learners Definition of sea change

: a big and sudden change

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More from Merriam-Webster on sea change

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sea change

Nglish: Translation of sea change for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sea change for Arabic Speakers

Comments on sea change

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


to boil down or concentrate

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