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[naw-ti-kuh l, not-i-] /ˈnɔ tɪ kəl, ˈnɒt ɪ-/
of or relating to sailors, ships, or navigation:
nautical terms.
Origin of nautical
1545-55; < Latin nautic(us) pertaining to ships or sailors (< Greek nautikós, equivalent to naû(s) ship + -tikos -tic) + -al1
Related forms
[naw-ti-kal-i-tee, not-i-] /ˌnɔ tɪˈkæl ɪ ti, ˌnɒt ɪ-/ (Show IPA),
nautically, adverb
nonnautical, adjective
nonnautically, adverb
unnautical, adjective
Can be confused
naval, nautical.
seagoing, marine, maritime. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for nautical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After this piece of nautical gallantry, the glass began to circulate.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • Had he hinted at a sailor I would have known who my nautical visitor was.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • We spoke one or two vessels, and spent some time “gaming” with them,—the nautical phrase for visiting.

    The Captive in Patagonia Benjamin Franklin Bourne
  • The form of Van Diemen's Land had long been a nautical problem.

  • It conveys to the nautical mind an idea of skill which no "lubber" can possess.

    Brave Old Salt Oliver Optic
  • This is an application of a nautical term, as in “to fetch headway.”

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 Charles Herbert Sylvester
  • But it had a nautical air for the moment, and seemed somehow in keeping with that old lady's marine experience.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost William Frend De Morgan
  • A nautical phrase to express the fetters and bolts for offenders.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
British Dictionary definitions for nautical


of, relating to, or involving ships, navigation, or sailors
Derived Forms
nautically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin nauticus, from Greek nautikos, from naus ship
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nautical

1550s, from -al (1) + nautic from Middle French nautique, from Latin nauticus "pertaining to ships or sailors," from Greek nautikos "seafaring, naval," from nautes "sailor," from naus "ship," from PIE *nau- "boat" (see naval).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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