aquanaut

noun

aqua·​naut ˈä-kwə-ˌnȯt How to pronounce aquanaut (audio)
ˈa-,
-ˌnät
: a scuba diver who lives and operates both inside and outside an underwater shelter for an extended period

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Aquanaut Has Greek Roots

Aquanaut combines aqua with the Greek nautes, meaning "sailor". Like astronaut and aeronaut, the word may remind you of those mythical Greek heroes known as the Argonauts, who sailed with Jason on his ship, the Argo, in quest of the Golden Fleece. Various underwater habitats for aquanauts, such as Conshelf, SEALAB, and MarineLab, have captured the public imagination since the 1960s.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In 2002, Meir joined NASA’s aquanaut program, living under the surface of the ocean for five days. Eric Betz, Discover Magazine, 30 Oct. 2020 Eventually, Cameron’s aquanaut tendencies bled into his movie career. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2021 Last month, a crew of aquanauts and astronauts surfaced after spending nine days in an undersea habitat known as the Aquarius Reef Base, located 62 feet below the ocean surface off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, 29 July 2019 Ari D’Agostino was joined by aquanaut Shirley Pomponi, a marine biologist at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute of Florida Atlantic University, and NASA astronaut candidate Jessica Watkins. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian, 29 July 2019 Within seconds, aquanaut Robert Carmichael and I were enveloped by a vibrant shade of blue, watching streaks of sunlight pierce the water’s surface. David Keyton, The Seattle Times, 13 Apr. 2019 There, four aquanauts at a time can practice living and working in an environment that really wasn’t meant for humans to inhabit. Philip Toledano, National Geographic, 12 Dec. 2016 There, four aquanauts at a time can practice living and working in an environment that really wasn’t meant for humans to inhabit. Philip Toledano, National Geographic, 12 Dec. 2016 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aquanaut.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Latin aqua + English -naut (as in aeronaut)

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aquanaut was in 1881

Dictionary Entries Near aquanaut

Cite this Entry

“Aquanaut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aquanaut. Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

aquanaut

noun
aqua·​naut ˈak-wə-ˌnȯt How to pronounce aquanaut (audio)
ˈäk-
: a person who lives for a long while in an underwater shelter used as a base for research
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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