of or relating to the open seas or oceans.
living or growing at or near the surface of the ocean, far from land, as certain organisms.
- non·pe·lag·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use pelagic in a sentence
As a matter of fact, specimens of pelagic sharks are displayed in museums that exceed 40 feet, but they are very rare.Harper's Round Table, October 29, 1895 | Various
Their habits and nests and eggs are the same as those of the pelagic Cormorant, nesting on the high cliffs of the rocky islands.The Bird Book | Chester A. Reed
The pelagic flora consists of Diatomace, Protococcace, Peridinie, and others.
Minyas is pelagic; it has a float at one end, and by means of its tentacles swims about freely.
Nine tenths of the species are marine; of these some are pelagic, and their transparent forms constitute a part of the plankton.
British Dictionary definitions for pelagic
of or relating to the open sea: pelagic whaling
(of marine life) living or occurring in the upper waters of open sea
(of geological formations) derived from material that has fallen to the bottom from the upper waters of the sea
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
Scientific definitions for pelagic
Relating to or living in or on oceanic waters. The pelagic zone of the ocean begins at the low tide mark and includes the entire oceanic water column. The pelagic ecosystem is largely dependent on the phytoplankton inhabiting the upper, sunlit regions, where most ocean organisms live. Biodiversity decreases sharply in the unlit zones where water pressure is high, temperatures are cold, and food sources scarce. Pelagic waters are divided, in descending order, into the epipelagic, mesopelagic, bathypelagic, abyssopelagic, and hadopelagic zones.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.