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sea legs

plural noun
the ability to adjust one's sense of balance to the motion of a ship at sea:
He stumbled about the deck for three days before getting his sea legs.
the ability to remain free of seasickness.
Origin of sea legs
First recorded in 1705-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sea legs
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was yellower than he was the other night, and he walked like he hadn't got his sea legs on.

    Cape Cod Stories Joseph C. Lincoln
  • But I soon got quit of my sea legs, which I had so much difficulty in finding.

    A Boy's Voyage Round the World The Son of Samuel Smiles
  • I soon gained my sea legs, and was able to take a view of my surroundings.

    Reminiscences of Queensland William Henry Corfield
  • I by this time had not only got my sea legs, but was pretty handy aloft.

    The Two Whalers W.H.G. Kingston
  • It'll give 'em their sea legs, and the weather will be all right the other side of the Bay.

    The Great White Queen William Le Queux
  • The motion of the boat, you know—in fact I havent quite got my sea legs on.

    Tom Fairfield at Sea Allen Chapman
  • sea legs had been acquired by that time and few on board were incapacitated.

    With the Battle Fleet Franklin Matthews
British Dictionary definitions for sea legs

sea legs

plural noun (informal)
the ability to maintain one's balance on board ship, esp in rough weather
the ability to resist seasickness, esp in rough weather
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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sea legs in Culture

sea legs definition

To “have one's sea legs” is to be able to walk calmly and steadily on a tossing ship, or to become accustomed to a new or strange situation: “Even though Kimberly just joined the company, she's got her sea legs in a hurry.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with sea legs

sea legs

The ability to adjust to a new situation or difficult conditions, as in She's only spoken in public a few times; she hasn't found her sea legs yet. This expression was first recorded in 1712 and then referred to, as it still does, the ability to walk steadily on board ship, especially in rough seas. By the late 1800s it was being transferred to other challenging situations.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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