• synonyms


[adverb, noun oh-ver-seez; adjective oh-ver-seez]
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  1. over, across, or beyond the sea; abroad: to be sent overseas.
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  1. of or relating to passage over the sea: overseas travel.
  2. situated beyond the sea: overseas territories.
  3. pertaining to countries, associations, activities, etc., beyond the sea: overseas military service; overseas commitments.
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  1. (used with a singular verb) countries or territories across the sea or ocean.
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Also especially British, o·ver·sea [adverb oh-ver-see; adjective oh-ver-see] /adverb ˌoʊ vərˈsi; adjective ˈoʊ vərˈsi/ (for defs 1–4).

Origin of overseas

before 1150; oversea (Middle English overse, Old English ofer sǣ; see over-, sea) + -s3 or -s1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

oversea, transatlantic, transmarine

Examples from the Web for oversea

Historical Examples

  • There was nothing heterodox in the view put forward by this preacher from oversea.

    The Message

    Alec John Dawson

  • Her area, exclusive of oversea possessions, was 11,373 square miles.

  • But Napoleon's oversea move of nine years later was rash in the extreme.

    Terre Napoleon

    Ernest Scott

  • The oversea voyage possesses a greater appeal to the imagination.


    David W. Bone

  • Dagda's cauldron came from Murias, probably an oversea world.

British Dictionary definitions for oversea


adverb (ˌəʊvəˈsiːz)
  1. beyond the sea; abroad
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adjective (ˈəʊvəˈsiːz)
  1. of, to, in, from, or situated in countries beyond the sea
  2. Also: oversea (ˌəʊvəˈsiː) of or relating to passage over the sea
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noun (ˌəʊvəˈsiːz)
  1. (functioning as singular) informal a foreign country or foreign countries collectively
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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 oversea



1580s, from over + sea. Popularized during World War I as a British euphemism for "colonial."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper