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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 nautically
Historical Examples
  • Putting a boat about, as Fanny had turned the Greyhound, is nautically termed gybing her.

    Hope and Have Oliver Optic
  • It was the battle which has made the name of John Paul Jones nautically immortal.

  • Along the old Portsmouth road were, and are still, any number of nautically named inns.

    The Automobilist Abroad

    M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield
  • A knot, nautically speaking, is a "bend" that is more permanent than a "hitch."

    Boat-Building and Boating

    Daniel Carter Beard
  • This is a pretty, nautically devised and ornamented suit, made of warm materials and those that will stand sea water.

    Social Life

    Maud C. Cooke
  • He turned into an alley, down which, nautically speaking, he rolled into a shabby little court.

    The Garret and the Garden R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for nautically


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 nautically



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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