ocean

noun, often attributive
\ ˈō-shən How to pronounce ocean (audio) \
plural oceans

Definition of ocean

1a : the whole body of salt water that covers nearly three fourths of the surface of the earth The ocean covers most of our planet, regulates our weather and climate, absorbs vast amounts of carbon dioxide, provides most of our oxygen, and feeds much of the human population.National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
b : any of the large bodies of water into which the great ocean is divided the oceans of the world
2 : a very large or unlimited quantity or expanse Could have made oceans of money.— James Joyce He would have oceans of time for his ride.— P. G. Wodehouse Jutting from an ocean of prairie, they [the Sangre de Cristo mountains] run north-south like an iguana spine …Skiing

Examples of ocean in a Sentence

We've sailed across hundreds of miles of ocean. the Pacific and Indian oceans
Recent Examples on the Web Storm surge is generated mainly by the hurricane’s strong winds, which blow from the ocean toward land and push huge amounts of water beyond the coast. Angela Fritz, CNN, 29 Sep. 2022 Further east, a portion of the Nome-Council Road is completely ruined, a small bridge rendered barely navigable and a new hole entirely punched through the thin barrier island separating Safety Sound from the ocean. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Sep. 2022 That differential determines how much moisture goes from the ocean to the monsoon and means more of it drops. Time, 16 Sep. 2022 The individual one-, two- and three-bedroom units, situated just steps from the ocean, are now being made available for overnight stays throughout the year. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Sep. 2022 That differential determines how much moisture goes from the ocean to the monsoon and means more of it drops. Seth Borenstein, ajc, 15 Sep. 2022 Shipping prices from ocean to trucking usually increase in the third quarter as retailers bring in inventory to get shelves stocked for the holiday shopping period. Liz Young, WSJ, 30 Aug. 2022 The water from the ocean promoted the preservation of fossils. Layla Mcmurtrie, USA TODAY, 17 Aug. 2022 The water from the ocean promoted the preservation of fossils. Layla Mcmurtrie, Detroit Free Press, 16 Aug. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of ocean

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ocean

Middle English occean "the sea flowing around the land mass of the known world," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin Ōceanus, borrowed from Greek Ōkeanós, probably of pre-Greek substratal origin

Note: Preserved variants of Greek Ōkeanós, as Ōgḗn, Ōgenós, Ōgēnós, may indicate that the velar stop, whatever its original voicing, was palatalized (hence *ūkʸān-?)—strongly suggesting non-Indo-European origin. Old attempts to find an Indo-European origin (as a comparison with Sanskrit ā-śayāna- "lying on") are unconvincing.

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The first known use of ocean was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near ocean

OCD

ocean

oceanarium

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Statistics for ocean

Last Updated

2 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ocean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ocean. Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for ocean

ocean

noun
\ ˈō-shən How to pronounce ocean (audio) \

Kids Definition of ocean

1 : the whole body of salt water that covers nearly three fourths of the earth
2 : one of the large bodies of water into which the larger body that covers the earth is divided

More from Merriam-Webster on ocean

Nglish: Translation of ocean for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ocean for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ocean

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