the ability to adjust one's sense of balance to the motion of a ship at sea: He stumbled about the deck for three days before getting his sea legs.
the ability to remain free of seasickness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sea legs in a sentence
If the first season was about finding their sea legs, this season is about sharpening the writing, without making it too slick.‘Portlandia’: Carrie Brownstein on Season 2 and Its Success | Tricia Romano | January 4, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
“I think he took awhile to get his sea legs because it's difficult,” he said.
As with any show, it took us some time to find our sea legs.
"Easy now, and get 'e sea legs on," suggested Bludson, who was balancing himself dexterously in his walk.Ralph Granger's Fortunes | William Perry Brown
Poor Flying Star seemed on its last legs and 'twasn't sea legs either.A Little Girl in Old Salem | Amanda Minnie Douglas
Jasper would find his sea-legs in a fortnight, and a twelvemonth's v'y'ge would make him a man.The Pathfinder | James Fenimore Cooper
Sailor Jack, on his sea-legs in an instant, gave his unqualified approbation of the scheme.Donald and Dorothy | Mary Mapes Dodge
I had not found my sea-legs, my knees were weak, and I went sliding about the wet poop like butter on a hot plate.Some Persons Unknown | E. W. Hornung
British Dictionary definitions for sea legs
the ability to maintain one's balance on board ship, esp in rough weather
the ability to resist seasickness, esp in rough weather
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
Cultural definitions for sea legs
To “have one's sea legs” is to be able to walk calmly and steadily on a tossing ship, or to become accustomed to a new or strange situation: “Even though Kimberly just joined the company, she's got her sea legs in a hurry.”
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.
Other Idioms and Phrases with sea legs
The ability to adjust to a new situation or difficult conditions, as in She's only spoken in public a few times; she hasn't found her sea legs yet. This expression was first recorded in 1712 and then referred to, as it still does, the ability to walk steadily on board ship, especially in rough seas. By the late 1800s it was being transferred to other challenging situations.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.