\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

An outbreak of violence that began in 2012 prompted thousands of Rohingya to flee Myanmar by sea to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Iskandar Ishak, The Seattle Times, "Indonesia rescues 20 Muslim Rohingya adrift off Aceh," 4 Dec. 2018 Under a sky frequently illuminated by aurora borealis, visitors can set off by sea to watch whales, or across the tundra to visit the indigenous Sami people and attempt to endear themselves to reindeer. Nina Sovich, WSJ, "Europe in Winter: 35 Reasons to Visit Off-Season," 21 Nov. 2018 Two if by sea The DoE also issued an Offshore Wind Market Update, which is shorter than the department's Wind Technology Report because offshore wind is so new in the US. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "In 2017, four US states generated more than 30% of their electricity from wind," 27 Aug. 2018 To test it, researchers sent a nuclear waste container filled with faux-nuclear fuel from Spain to Colorado and back, through 500 miles by truck, 10,000 miles by sea, and 4,000 miles by rail. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "Can Nuclear Waste Survive a 14,500 Mile Journey?," 4 Aug. 2018 El Mar Drive and El Prado Drive, Fort Lauderdale-by-the-sea. Dan White,, "Fort Lauderdale and Oakland Park area events, July 4-14," 30 June 2018 The seas were high, the wind against them, hunger spread, disease followed. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "The Pilgrims Take Manhattan," 21 Nov. 2018 China is pitted against its smaller neighbors in multiple disputes in the sea over coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves. Annabelle Liang, The Seattle Times, "Southeast Asian-centered trade deal set for further delays," 14 Nov. 2018 That news, plus a potential Sunset Overdrive port, No Man’s Sky heads under the sea, Undertale creator Toby Fox teases a new game with a new game, and Henry Cavill shows off his Geralt cosplay. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Red Dead Redemption 2 PC release hints, No Man's Sky heads under the sea," 2 Nov. 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

17 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on sea

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sea

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sea

Spanish Central: Translation of sea

Nglish: Translation of sea for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sea for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sea

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