1. The Atlantic Ocean.
2. The westernmost branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Also called West Atlantic.
1. Of, in, or near the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Of, on, or near the eastern coast of the United States.
3. Of or concerning countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean, especially those of Europe and North America.
4. Of or relating to the westernmost branch of the Niger-Congo language family.
[Middle English Atlantik, from Latin (mare) Atlanticum, Atlantic (sea), from Greek (pelagos) Atlantikos, from Atlās, Atlant-, Atlas, Mount Atlas (in west Africa, on which the heavens were believed to rest); see telə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.