territorial waters

plural noun

: the waters under the sovereign jurisdiction of a nation or state including both marginal sea and inland waters

Examples of territorial waters in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those picked up within Italy’s territorial waters, or by rescue ships operated by nongovernmental organizations, would retain their right under international and EU law to apply for asylum in Italy and have their claims processed there. Vlasov Sulaj and Llazar Semini, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 June 2024 Coming up this week The Philippines and the U.S. begin annual joint military exercises today, but this time the exercises take place far from Philippine territorial waters in a part of the central South China Sea claimed by China. Armstrong Williams, Baltimore Sun, 22 Apr. 2024 For the first time since the annual exercise started in 1991, the Philippines and the United States will conduct joint naval drills beyond the 12 nautical miles of the Philippines’ territorial waters, in parts of open sea claimed by China, officials said. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2024 To this day, Chinese ships continue to encroach into Japanese territorial waters, blatantly disregarding warnings issued by the Japanese Coast Guard. Tomohiko Taniguchi, Foreign Affairs, 16 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for territorial waters 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1841, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of territorial waters was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near territorial waters

Cite this Entry

“Territorial waters.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/territorial%20waters. Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Legal Definition

territorial waters

noun plural
territorial wa·​ters
: the waters under the sovereign jurisdiction of a nation or state including both marginal sea and inland waters

More from Merriam-Webster on territorial waters

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