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Thread: Ocean or Sea?

  1. lucyarliwu

    Ocean or Sea?

    Hi all!

    Could you help me judge what is ocean and what is sea?
    I'm confused what's the defference between 'ocean' and 'sea'?!

    Thanks for your help!

    lucy in China :)

  2. Webmaster,
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    Re: Ocean or Sea?


    1. The entire body of salt water that covers more than 70 percent of the earth's surface.
    2. (Abbr. Oc. or O.) Any of the principal divisions of the ocean, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic oceans.
    3. A great expanse or amount: “that ocean of land which is Russia” (Henry A. Kissinger).

    [Middle English occean, from Old French, from Latin oceanus, from Greek Okeanos, the god Oceanus, a great river encircling the earth.]

    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.
    2. (Abbr. S.)
    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.

    at sea

    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 sæ[U+0304].]

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
    I'm not a teacher, so please consider any advice I give in that context.

  3. Anonymous

    Re: Ocean or Sea?

    Quote Originally Posted by lucyarliwu
    Hi all!

    Could you help me judge what is ocean and what is sea?
    I'm confused what's the defference between 'ocean' and 'sea'?!

    Thanks for your help!

    lucy in China :)

    An ocean is bigger than a sea. However, we can still refer to traveling across an ocean in a ship or boat as being "at sea".

    big - Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean

    not as big - Caribbean Sea, Caspian Sea, Dead Sea

  4. lucyarliwu

    Re: Ocean or Sea?

    Thanks Red5 and thanks CitySpeak for your two nice help on my problem!

    Ya, I think I prefer CitySpeak's explanation which makes me more clear on their subtle difference between 'ocean' and 'sea'!

    :) thanks again!

    Lucy in China

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