American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Inland and coastal waters under the jurisdiction of a nation or state, especially the ocean waters within 3 or 12 miles (4.8 or 19.3 kilometers) of the shoreline.
- n. politics, geography A country's inland lakes and waterways as well as the portion of its coastal oceans, seas, or other adjoining bodies of water considered to fall within the political boundaries and legal jurisdiction of that country.
GNU Webster's 1913
- (Internat. Law) The waters under the territorial jurisdiction of a state; specif., the belt (often called the marine belt or territorial sea) of sea subject to such jurisdiction, and subject only to the right of innocent passage by the vessels of other states.
- n. the waters surrounding a nation and its territories over which that nation exercises sovereign jurisdiction
“A steamboat flying a parley flag from Dresden brought Lieutenant Wilhelm Canaris to complain that the German light cruiser was in Chilean territorial waters and therefore under Chilean protection.”
“The paroxysms started in January 1968 when North Korea seized the USS Pueblo, claiming the American ship had violated its territorial waters while spying.”
“Although it was outside the three-mile limit, which was the only form of territorial waters which Britain recognised, Argentina and Uruguay between them claimed the whole Plate Estuary.”
“Thus, said Langsdoff, the only alternative was to scuttle the ship outside territorial waters ....”
“The Spanish oil giant Repsol YPF signed a drilling contract with Castro in December 2000, authorizing the company to drill in Cuban territorial waters in the Gulf of Mexico.”
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