[adverb, noun oh-ver-seez; adjective oh-ver-seez]


over, across, or beyond the sea; abroad: to be sent overseas.


of or relating to passage over the sea: overseas travel.
situated beyond the sea: overseas territories.
pertaining to countries, associations, activities, etc., beyond the sea: overseas military service; overseas commitments.


(used with a singular verb) countries or territories across the sea or ocean.

Nearby words

  1. oversaturated,
  2. overscale,
  3. overscore,
  4. overscrupulous,
  5. oversea,
  6. overseas cap,
  7. overseas telegram,
  8. oversee,
  9. overseer,
  10. oversell

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for oversea

British Dictionary definitions for oversea


adverb (ˌəʊvəˈsiːz)

beyond the sea; abroad

adjective (ˈəʊvəˈsiːz)

of, to, in, from, or situated in countries beyond the sea
Also: oversea (ˌəʊvəˈsiː) of or relating to passage over the sea

noun (ˌəʊvəˈsiːz)

(functioning as singular) informal a foreign country or foreign countries collectively
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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper