North Sea

noun
  1. an arm of the Atlantic between Great Britain and the European mainland. About 201,000 sq. mi. (520,600 sq. km); greatest depth, 1998 feet (610 meters).
Formerly German Ocean.
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British Dictionary definitions for north sea

North Sea

noun
  1. an arm of the Atlantic between Great Britain and the N European mainland. Area: about 569 800 sq km (220 000 sq miles)Former name: German Ocean
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 north sea

North Sea

Old English norðsæ, usually meaning "the Bristol Channel." The application to the body of water presently so named (late 13c.) is from Dutch (Noordzee, Middle Dutch Noortzee); it lies to the north of Holland, where it was contrasted with the inland Zuider Zee, literally "Southern Sea"). To the Danes, it sometimes was Vesterhavet "West Sea." In English, this had been typically called the "German Sea" or "German Ocean," which follows the Roman name for it, Oceanus Germanicus. "German" persisted on some British maps at least into the 1830s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

north sea in Culture

North Sea

Arm of the Atlantic Ocean northwest of central Europe.

Note

Oil was discovered under the sea floor in 1970.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.