• synonyms


[naw-ti-kuh l, not-i-]
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  1. of or relating to sailors, ships, or navigation: nautical terms.
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Origin of nautical

1545–55; < Latin nautic(us) pertaining to ships or sailors (< Greek nautikós, equivalent to naû(s) ship + -tikos -tic) + -al1
Related formsnau·ti·cal·i·ty [naw-ti-kal-i-tee, not-i-] /ˌnɔ tɪˈkæl ɪ ti, ˌnɒt ɪ-/, nounnau·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·nau·ti·cal, adjectivenon·nau·ti·cal·ly, adverbun·nau·ti·cal, adjective
Can be confusednaval nautical


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seagoing, marine, maritime.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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

British Dictionary definitions for nautical


  1. of, relating to, or involving ships, navigation, or sailors
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Derived Formsnautically, 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

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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper