Meaning of SEA in English


sea S2 W1 /siː/ BrE AmE noun

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: sæ ]

1 . [uncountable and countable] especially British English the large area of salty water that covers much of the Earth’s surface SYN ocean :

Jay stripped his clothes off and ran into the sea.

Most exports went by sea.

a little cottage by the sea

He spent over 30 years at sea.

They stood side by side looking out to sea.

2 . [countable] a large area of salty water that is mostly enclosed by land:

the Mediterranean Sea

3 . sea of something a very large number of people or things that all look similar:

He looked out at the sea of faces.

4 . (all) at sea confused or not sure what to do:

Living in a foreign country can mean you’re always at sea about what’s going on.

5 . the seas literary the sea – used especially when you are not talking about a particular ocean

across the seas (=far away)

They came from lands across the seas.

6 . [countable] one of the broad areas that seem flat on the moon and Mars

• • •


■ adjectives

▪ blue

The sun shone brightly upon the clear blue sea.

▪ calm

The sea was perfectly calm.

▪ rough (=with big waves)

The sea was too rough to swim in.

▪ choppy (=with a lot of small waves)

The wind was starting to pick up and the sea was becoming choppy.


The yachts bobbed around on the choppy sea.

▪ heavy seas (=a rough sea)

The tanker split apart and sank in heavy seas.

▪ a stormy sea

a picture of a battleship in a stormy sea

▪ the open sea (=the part of the sea that is far away from land)

Rescuers are trying to drive the stranded whales back out into the open sea.

▪ the deep sea (=the water deep under the surface of the sea)

The deep sea is the most unexplored area left on the planet.

■ verbs

▪ cross the sea

Our ancestors crossed the sea in small boats.

▪ go to sea (=go to work on a ship)

He went to sea when he was eighteen.

▪ put to sea (=sail a boat away from land)

The refugees put to sea in rickety rafts.

▪ be lost at sea formal (=be drowned in the sea)

His father had been lost at sea three months before.

▪ be swept out to sea (=be taken far away from land by the sea)

They had to rescue three young canoeists who were swept out to sea.

■ sea + NOUN

▪ sea water

Removing salt from sea water is an expensive process.

▪ a sea view

All the bedrooms have a sea view.

▪ sea level

Average sea levels are rising year on year.

▪ the sea air (=the air close to the sea)

He breathed in the fresh sea air.

▪ the sea bed ( also the sea floor ) (=the land at the bottom of the sea)

A lot of these small creatures feed on the sea bed.

• • •


▪ the sea especially British English the large area of salty water that covers much of the Earth’s surface:

She lives by the sea.


The sea was very rough.

▪ the ocean especially American English the large area of salty water that covers much of the Earth’s surface:

a house by the ocean


The restaurant had a sweeping view of the ocean.

▪ waters a large area of water – used about an area of water that belongs to a particular country, or when describing what the water is like:

boats fishing in Canadian waters


British territorial waters


the calm waters of the harbour


dangerous waters


choppy waters (=with a lot of waves)

▪ bay an area of sea that is partly enclosed by a curve in the land:

I swam across the bay.


the Bay of Biscay

▪ gulf a very large area of sea partly enclosed by land:

the Gulf of Mexico


oil from the Gulf (=the area of water near Iran, Saudi Arabia etc)

▪ tide the regular rising and falling of the level of the sea:

Is the tide going out or coming in ?


High tide (=when the sea is at its highest level) is at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.


low tide (=when the sea is at its lowest level)


The rocks are visible at low tide.

▪ wave a line of raised water that moves across the surface of the sea:

The waves were crashing against the rocks.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.