Word of the Day : July 30, 2016


adjective LIT-uh-rul


: of, relating to, or situated or growing on or near a shore especially of the sea

Did You Know?

You're most likely to encounter littoral in contexts relating to the military and marine sciences. A littoral combat ship is a fast and easily maneuverable combat ship built for use in coastal waters. And in marine ecology, the littoral zone is a coastal zone characterized by abundant dissolved oxygen, sunlight, nutrients, and generally high wave energies and water motion. Littoral can also be found as a noun referring to a coastal region or, more technically, to the shore zone between the high tide and low tide points. The adjective is the older of the two, dating from the mid-17th century; the noun dates from the early 19th century. The word comes to English from Latin litoralis, itself from litor- or litus, meaning "seashore."


The report shows dramatic improvement in the condition of the state's littoral waters since the cleanup effort began.

"But this project will permanently add new sand to the beach and dune system of Dauphin Island's East End, and the new sand will stay in the littoral system for centuries." — Scott Douglass, The Mobile (Alabama) Register, 6 Mar. 2016

Test Your Vocabulary

Unscramble the letters to create an adjective meaning "relating to or living or located on the bank of a river": PAIARNIR.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!