1. The continuous body of salt water covering most of the earth's surface, especially this body regarded as a geophysical entity distinct from earth and sky.
a. A tract of water within an ocean.
b. A relatively large body of salt water completely or partially enclosed by land.
c. A relatively large landlocked body of fresh water.
a. The condition of the ocean's surface with regard to its course, flow, swell, or turbulence: a rising sea; choppy seas.
b. A wave or swell, especially a large one: a 40-foot sea that broke over the stern.
4. Something that suggests the ocean in its overwhelming sweep or vastness: a sea of controversy.
5. Seafaring as a way of life.
6. Astronomy A lunar mare.
1. On the sea, especially on a sea voyage.
2. In a state of confusion or perplexity; at a loss.
[Middle English see, from Old English sǣ.]
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.