sea / sē/ • n. (often the sea) the expanse of salt water that covers most of the earth's surface and surrounds its landmasses: a ban on dumping radioactive wastes in the sea | rocky bays lapped by vivid blue sea | [as adj.] a sea view. ∎ [often in place names] a roughly definable area of this: the Black Sea. ∎ [in place names] a large lake: the Sea of Galilee. ∎ used to refer to waves as opposed to calm sea: there was still some sea running. ∎ (seas) large waves: the lifeboat met seas of thirty-five feet head-on. ∎ fig. a vast expanse or quantity of something: she scanned the sea of faces for Stephen. PHRASES: at sea sailing on the sea. ∎ (also all at sea) confused or unable to decide what to do: he feels at sea with economics. by sea by means of a ship or ships: other army units were sent by sea. go to sea set out on a voyage. ∎ become a sailor in a navy or a merchant navy. on the sea situated on the coast. put (out) to sea leave land on a voyage. ORIGIN: Old English sǣ, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zee and German See.
- Aegir god of the seas. [Norse Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 12]
- Amphitrite queen of the sea; Poseidon’s wife. [Gk. Myth.: NCE, 94]
- Bowditch standard navigational work, American Practical Navigator ; so called from its compiler, Nathaniel Bowditch. [Am. Hist.: Hart, 97]
- Clement the First, St. drowned bound to anchor; invoked in marine dedications. [Christian Hagiog.: Attwater, 88]
- Cuchulain mad with grief, he battles the sea. [Irish Myth.: Benét, 239]
- Dylan god of waves, which continually mourn him. [Celtic Myth.: Leach, 332; Jobes, 480]
- Jones, Davy personification of the ocean. [Br. and Am. Marine Slang: Leach, 298]
- Manannan Irish god of the sea. [Irish Folklore: Briggs, 280]
- mermaid half-woman, half-fish; seen by sailors. [western Folklore: Misc.]
- Nereids fifty daughters of Nereus; attendants of Poseidon. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 174]
- Nereus son of Oceanus; father of the Nereids. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 174; Gk. Lit.: Iliad ]
- Njorthr Scandinavian god; protector of sailors and ships. [Norse Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 760]
- Oceanids three thousand daughters of Oceanus and Tethys. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 178]
- Oceanus Titan and father of the river gods and Oceanids. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 178]
- Poseidon (Rom. Neptune) god of the oceans and all waters. [Gk. Myth.: Wheeler, 257]
- Salacia consort of Neptune and goddess of springs. [Rom. Myth.: Kravitz, 208]
- Tethys goddess-wife of Oceanus. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 1070]
- Thetis sea deity and mother of Achilles. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 269; Gk. Lit.: Odyssey ]
- Tiamat primeval sea represented as a dragon goddess, mother of all the gods. [Babylonian Myth.: Benét, 1007]
- trident three-pronged fork; attribute of Poseidon. [Gk. Myth.: Hall, 309]
- Triton gigantic sea deity; son and messenger of Poseidon. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 277; Rom. Lit.: Aeneid ]
- Varuna god over the waters. [Vedic Myth.: Leach, 1155]
Season (See AUTUMN, SPRING, SUMMER, WINTER .)
See also 234. LAKES ; 356. RIVERS ; 414. WATER .
- a device used for measuring vertical currents in deep ocean areas.
- the scientific exploration of the sea with sonic instruments. —bathygraph, bathygram, n.
- a vessel for exploring the depths of the oceans.
- 1. the depths or bottom of the sea.
- 2. organic life that inhabits the bottom of the sea.
- an apparatus for surveying the depths or bottom of the sea.
- an abnormal fear of waves.
- a severe storm at sea, usually occurring near the equinox and mistakenly thought to be the result of the sun crossing the equatorial line.
- Obsolete, a work describing the sea.
- mare clausum
- a body or stretch of navigable water which is under the jurisdiction of a particular nation. Cf. mare liberum .
- mare liberum
- a body or stretch of navigable water to which all nations or countries have unrestricted access. Cf. mare clausum .
- a marshy region adjoining the seashore.
- Rare. the measurement of the rise and fall of tides. Also mareography. —marigraphic, adj.
- the branch of physical geography that studies oceans and seas. —oceanographer, n. —oceanographic, oceanographical, adj.
- a view or representation of the sea, especially in a painting, photograph, etc.
- the sovereignty of the seas. — thalassocrat. n.
- 1. the branch of oceanography that studies smaller bodies of water, as sounds, gulfs, etc.
- 2. oceanography in general. —thalassographer, n. —thalassographic, thalassographical, adj.
- an abnormal love of the sea.
- an abnormal fear of the sea.
sea change a profound or notable transformation; originally with allusion to the song in Shakespeare's Tempest (1611) which envisages the physical changes that will come to Ferdinand's supposedly drowned father.
the sea-green Incorruptible Thomas Carlyle's name in his History of the French Revolution (1837), for the French revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre (1758–94), leader of the radical Jacobins in the National Assembly. Robespierre initiated the Terror, but the following year he fell from power and was guillotined.
sea lawyer an eloquently and obstinately argumentative person.
Sea Peoples any or all of the groups of invaders, of uncertain identity, who encroached on Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean by land and sea in the late 13th century bc. The Egyptians were successful in driving them away, but some, including the Philistines, settled in Palestine. Also called Peoples of the Sea.
See also there are as good fish in the sea as ever came out of it, hands across the sea, high seas, old man of the sea, seven seas.
a great quanitity; a flood; anything resembling the seas.
Examples : sea of acclamations, 1632; of blood, 1598; of cares, 1574; of carpets, 1654; of claret, 1821; of clouds, 1644; of discussions, 1816; of examples, 1586; of eager faces, 1862; of forces and passion, 1667; of glory, 1613; of heads, 1849; of sand 1770; of seaweed; of white tents, 1898; of troubles, 1602; of green vegetation, 1869; of wine, 1646; of wrath, 1692; of seas of time, 1822.