[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.

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 overseas

Contemporary Examples of overseas

  • At least 70 percent of the children were adopted from overseas, including Russia, China, Ethiopia and Ukraine.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Judge: Rehoming Kids Is Trafficking

    Tina Traster

    December 30, 2014

  • In the early 1900s, fashion forgers often sketched designs they saw in Paris shows and sold reproductions in France and overseas.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Big Business of Fashion Counterfeits

    Lizzie Crocker

    December 24, 2014

  • The bill also provided $64 billion in war funding through the Overseas Contingency Operations account.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Merry Christmas, Defense Contractors!

    Veronique de Rugy

    December 22, 2014

  • Australians are just not programmed for these things and look at it in general as something going on overseas.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Jihadi Siege in Sydney Ends in Gunfight

    Courtney Subramanian, Lennox Samuels, Chris Allbritton

    December 15, 2014

  • “That FBI money is designed to entice somebody in the United states to help find where he is overseas,” the former agent said.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Post Office Robbers More Wanted Than ISIS

    M.L. Nestel

    December 13, 2014

Historical Examples of overseas

British Dictionary definitions for overseas


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 overseas

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper