1 the expanse of salt water that covers most of the earth's surface and surrounds its land masses.
2 any part of this as opposed to land or fresh water.
3 a particular (usu. named) tract of salt water partly or wholly enclosed by land (the North Sea; the Dead Sea).
4 a large inland lake (the Sea of Galilee).
5 the waves of the sea, esp. with reference to their local motion or state (a choppy sea).
6 (foll. by of) a vast quantity or expanse (a sea of troubles; a sea of faces).
7 (attrib.) living or used in, on, or near the sea (often prefixed to the name of a marine animal, plant, etc., having a superficial resemblance to what it is named after) (sea lettuce).
Phrases and idioms:
at sea 1 in a ship on the sea.
2 (also all at sea) perplexed, confused. by sea in a ship or ships. go to sea become a sailor.
on the sea
1 in a ship at sea.
2 situated on the coast. put (or put out) to sea leave land or port. sea anchor a device such as a heavy bag dragged in the water to retard the drifting of a ship. sea anemone any of various coelenterates of the order Actiniaria having a polypoid body bearing a ring of tentacles around the mouth. sea-angel an angel-fish. sea bass any of various marine fishes like the bass, esp. Centropristis striatus. sea bird a bird frequenting the sea or the land near the sea. sea bream = PORGY. sea breeze a breeze blowing towards the land from the sea, esp. during the day (cf. land breeze). sea buckthorn a maritime shrub, Hippophaeuml rhamnoides with orange berries. sea change a notable or unexpected transformation (with ref. to Shakesp. Tempest I. ii. 403). sea-chest a sailor's storage-chest. sea coal archaic mineral coal, as distinct from charcoal etc.
sea cow
1 a sirenian.
2 a walrus. sea cucumber a holothurian, esp. a becircche-de-mer. sea dog an old or experienced sailor. sea eagle any fish-eating eagle esp. of the genus Haliaeumltus. sea-ear = ORMER. sea elephant any large seal of the genus Mirounga, the male of which has a proboscis: also called elephant seal. sea fan any colonial coral of the order Gorgonacea supported by a fanlike horny skeleton. sea front the part of a coastal town directly facing the sea. sea-girt literary surrounded by sea. sea gooseberry any marine animal of the phylum Ctenophora, with an ovoid body bearing numerous cilia. sea-green bluish-green (as of the sea). sea hare any of various marine molluscs of the order Anaspidea, having an internal shell and long extensions from its foot. sea holly a spiny-leaved blue-flowered evergreen plant, Eryngium maritimum.
sea horse
1 any of various small upright marine fish of the family Syngnathidae, esp. Hippocampus hippocampus, having a body suggestive of the head and neck of a horse.
2 a mythical creature with a horse's head and fish's tail. sea-island cotton a fine-quality long-stapled cotton grown on islands off the southern US. sea lavender any maritime plant of the genus Limonium, with small brightly-coloured funnel-shaped flowers. sea legs the ability to keep one's balance and avoid seasickness when at sea. sea level the mean level of the sea's surface, used in reckoning the height of hills etc. and as a barometric standard. sea lily any of various sessile echinoderms, esp. of the class Crinoidea, with long jointed stalks and feather-like arms for trapping food. sea lion any large, eared seal of the Pacific, esp. of the genus Zalophus or Otaria. sea loch = LOCH 2. Sea Lord (in the UK) a naval member of the Admiralty Board. sea mile = nautical mile. sea mouse any iridescent marine annelid of the genus Aphrodite. sea onion = SQUILL 2. sea otter a Pacific otter, Enhydra lutris, using a stone balanced on its abdomen to crack bivalve molluscs. sea pink a maritime plant, Armeria maritima, with bright pink flowers: also called THRIFT. sea purse the egg-case of a skate or shark. sea room clear space at sea for a ship to turn or manoeuvre in. sea salt salt produced by evaporating sea water. Sea Scout a member of the maritime branch of the Scout Association.
sea serpent (or snake)
1 a snake of the family Hydrophidae, living in the sea.
2 an enormous legendary serpent-like sea monster. sea shell the shell of a salt-water mollusc.
sea snail
1 a small slimy fish of the family Liparididae, with a ventral sucker.
2 any spiral-shelled mollusc, e.g. a whelk. sea squirt any marine turnicate of the class Ascidiacea, consisting of a bag-like structure with apertures for the flow of water. sea trout = salmon trout. sea urchin a small marine echinoderm of the class Echinoidea, with a spherical or flattened spiny shell. sea wall a wall or embankment erected to prevent encroachment by the sea. sea water water in or taken from the sea.
Etymology: OE saelig f. Gmc

Useful english dictionary. 2012.


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