1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
5
sea adjective
Phrases
at sea
1
: on the sea
specifically : on a sea voyage
2
to sea
: to or on the open waters of the sea

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 Originally planned as a television series, the movie finds Moana journeying on a dangerous mission to the far seas of Oceania after getting a call from her ancestors. Lindsey Bahr, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 Guaranteed Rate Field, built adjacent to Comiskey on 35th Street, sits more in a sea of parking lots than a neighborhood with nearby restaurants and hotels. Phil Rogers, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 The enormous marine mammals head north each year to feed at sea for four to seven months, with males and females heading to different destinations, rangers said. Don Sweeney, Sacramento Bee, 22 Feb. 2024 An unarmed Trident missile splashed into the sea close to its launch site, the U.K. government confirmed on Wednesday, fueling scrutiny of the state of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Mark Landler, New York Times, 21 Feb. 2024 Lost at sea, exposed to the elements and on the brink of starvation, the men must make horrifying decisions in their struggle to survive. Brent Lang, Variety, 21 Feb. 2024 But with a pollution crisis now painfully evident on land, at sea and now in space, one of the most symbolic launches since Sputnik is scheduled for this summer, when scientists from Japan and NASA launch the world’s first biodegradable satellite, made mostly of wood. Bill Weir, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 Early in the pandemic, dozens of ships were lined up at sea waiting to berth in L.A. and Long Beach ports. Don Lee, Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2024 The most famous attraction in Vieques is Mosquito Bay, where phosphorescent plankton turn the waves into a sea of blue light at what is considered the most vibrant bioluminescent bay in the world. Carley Rojas Avila, Travel + Leisure, 10 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sea.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near sea

Cite this Entry

“Sea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sea. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

sea

noun
1
a
: a great body of salty water that covers much of the earth
also : the waters of the earth
b
: a body of salt water not as large as an ocean
the Mediterranean Sea
d
: an inland body of water either salt or fresh
the Sea of Galilee
2
: rough water
a high sea swept the deck
3
: something suggesting the sea (as in great size or depth)
a golden sea of wheat
4
: a life involving marine travel
hoped to make a career of the sea
5
sea adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on sea

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