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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for nautical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Ten minutes more and it is too late," said the nautical passenger.

  • After this piece of nautical gallantry, the glass began to circulate.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • And, as usual, his nautical friend to interrupt and comment.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Sears was excited now, and, as usual when excited, drifted into nautical phraseology.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • In the evening we had our second nautical entertainment in honour of the day.

    The Last Voyage Lady (Annie Allnutt) Brassey
  • On the whole river there was nothing that looked half so nautical.

    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  • Beyond the fact that these were of nautical appearance, there was no distinctive dress.

  • This is what we nautical Men shout to one another as we pass in our Ships.

    Letters of Edward FitzGerald Edward FitzGerald
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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