Origin of submarine

1640–50; 1895–1900 for def 1; sub- + marine
Related formsan·ti·sub·ma·rine, adjective

Regional variation note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for submarine



a vessel, esp one designed for warfare, capable of operating for protracted periods below the surface of the seaOften shortened to: sub
  1. of or relating to a submarinea submarine captain
  2. occurring or situated below the surface of the seaa submarine cable
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 submarine

1640s, from sub- + marine (adj.).


"submarine boat," 1899, from submarine (adj.). The short form sub is first recorded 1917. Submarine sandwich (1955) so called from the shape of the roll.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper