sea

sea (n.) O.E. "sheet of water, sea, lake," from P.Gmc. *saiwaz (Cf. O.S. seo, O.Fris. se, M.Du. see), of unknown origin, outside connections "wholly doubtful" [Buck]. Germanic languages also use the general Indo-European word (represented by English MERE (Cf. mere) (n.)), but have no firm distinction between "sea" and "lake," either by size or by salt vs. fresh. This may reflect the Baltic geography where the languages are thought to have originated.
The two words are used more or less interchangeably, and exist in opposite senses (e.g. Goth. saiws "lake," marei "sea;" but Du. zee "sea," meer "lake"). Cf. also O.N. sær "sea," but Dan. , usually "lake" but "sea" in phrases. Ger. See is "sea" (fem.) or "lake" (masc.). Meaning "dark area of the moon's surface" is attested from 1660s (see MARE (Cf. mare) (2)).
Phrase sea change "transformation" is attested from 1610, first in Shakespeare ("The Tempest," I.ii). Sea anemone is from 1742; sea breeze from 1690s; sea legs is from 1712; sea level from 1806; sea serpent attested from 1640s; sea urchin from 1590s. At sea in the figurative sense of "perplexed" is attested from 1768, from literal sense of "out of sight of land."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Sea — (s[=e]), n. [OE. see, AS. s[=ae]; akin to D. zee, OS. & OHG. s[=e]o, G. see, OFries. se, Dan. s[ o], Sw. sj[ o], Icel. s[ae]r, Goth. saiws, and perhaps to L. saevus fierce, savage. [root]151a.] 1. One of the larger bodies of salt water, less than …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sea — W1S3 [si:] n [: Old English; Origin: sA] 1.) [singular, U] the large area of salty water that covers much of the earth s surface = ↑ocean ▪ Jay stripped his clothes off and ran into the sea. ▪ All the rooms have sea views. ▪ The sea was perfectly …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sea — [ si ] noun MAINLY BRITISH *** singular or uncount the large area of salt water that covers most of the surface of the Earth: Tim went swimming in the sea. He had a room overlooking the sea. We re renting a house by the sea (=close to the sea).… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sea — [sē] n. [ME see < OE sæ, akin to Du zee, Ger see] 1. the continuous body of salt water covering the greater part of the earth s surface; ocean 2. a large body of salt water wholly or partly enclosed by land [the Red Sea, Irish Sea] 3. a large… …   English World dictionary

  • SEA IV — Тип истребитель Производитель SEA Главный конструктор Анри Потез, Марсель Блок, Луи …   Википедия

  • Sea me we 3 — oder South East Asia Middle East Western Europe 3 ist ein Seekabel, das Europa, Afrika, Asien und Australien miteinander verbindet. Es wurde am 30. August 1999 in Betrieb genommen.[1] Mit 39.000 km ist es das längste je verlegte Seekabel. Zur… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • SEA-ME-WE 3 — oder South East Asia Middle East Western Europe 3 ist ein Seekabel, das Europa, Afrika, Asien und Australien miteinander verbindet. Es wurde am 30. August 1999 in Betrieb genommen.[1] Mit 39.000 km Gesamtlänge ist es das größte Seekabelsystem.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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