from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of ships, shipping, sailors, or navigation on a body of water.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Relating to or involving ships or shipping or navigation or seamen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to seamen, to the art of navigation, or to ships.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to ships, seamen, or navigation: as, nautical skill. Abbreviated nautical
  • Synonyms Marine, Naval, etc. See maritime.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. relating to or involving ships or shipping or navigation or seamen


From Latin nauticus, from Greek nautikos, from nautēs, sailor, from naus, ship; see nāu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin nauticus ("of or relating to sailors") (Wiktionary)


  • [NYT] "By the way, before Cashill hit on his theory, I noted some eerie similarities between Dreams of My Father and the Horatio Hornblower novels of C.S. Forester, which also contain nautical references and are written on a high school level, but I gave up my investigation when I realized that Forrester died in 1966 and probably could not have written Obama's book."

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  • Let us not judge Ashbery too quickly … I do find his taste in nautical nonsense quite creative, which leads me to believe there is a enough of a screw loose to warrant further investigation.

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  • Whilst we're in nautical mode, here's brave and how about this for actually having a dream and then living it?

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  • And whereas the cognitive tasks inherent in nautical, geographic, and ethnographic work demanded that one use his rational faculties, trips to Cathay required only that one possess a lively imagination.

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  • When the time is up, the number of “knots” fed out are counted to determine speed, thus the term for nautical miles per hour.

    A Furnace Afloat

  • I dressed myself in nautical rig, and went on deck to see all that I could.

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  • The orders transmitted to them (in nautical phrase) are amusingthey are playing an ugly tune, or a pretty one badly "Bid those follows take a reef in" or they suddenly stop "Ask those fellows why they have hove to," says the captain to the steward,

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  • People create ship designs for the game Pirates of the Burning Sea, researching in nautical museums, because they love to do it — some of them don’t even play the game; they just like to make ships.

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  • They are called nautical shells, and they will explode on the surface of the water instead of in the sky.

    CNN Transcript Jul 4, 2007

  • They're called nautical shells and they'll explode on the surface of the water instead of in the sky.

    CNN Transcript Jul 4, 2007

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