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[muh-reen] /məˈrin/
of or relating to the sea; existing in or produced by the sea:
marine vegetation.
pertaining to navigation or shipping; nautical; naval; maritime.
serving on shipboard, as soldiers.
of or belonging to the marines.
adapted for use at sea:
a marine barometer.
a member of the U.S. Marine Corps.
one of a class of naval troops serving both on shipboard and on land.
seagoing ships collectively, especially with reference to nationality or class; shipping in general.
a picture with a marine subject; seascape.
naval affairs, or the department of a government, as in France, having to do with such affairs.
dead marine, Australian Slang. an empty bottle of beer or spirits.
tell it / that to the marines!, I don't believe your story; I refuse to be fooled.
Origin of marine
1325-75; Middle English maryne < Middle French marin (feminine marine) < Latin marīnus of the sea, derivative of mare sea; see -ine1
Related forms
intermarine, adjective
nonmarine, adjective, noun
semimarine, adjective, noun
supermarine, adjective
unmarine, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dead marine
Historical Examples
  • Infection with luminous bacteria is especially liable to occur in any dead marine animal.

    The Nature of Animal Light E. Newton Harvey
  • On the steps lay a dead marine, and beside him stood a French surgeon, who greeted them warmly.

    A Surgeon in Belgium Henry Sessions Souttar
  • Bought a dead marine; and took him down in a box to some low public-house by the water-side.

British Dictionary definitions for dead marine


adjective (usually prenominal)
of, found in, or relating to the sea
of or relating to shipping, navigation, etc
of or relating to a body of seagoing troops: marine corps
of or relating to a government department concerned with maritime affairs
used or adapted for use at sea: a marine camera
shipping and navigation in general: the merchant marine
(capital when part of a name) a member of a marine corps or similar body
a picture of a ship, seascape, etc
(informal) tell it to the marines, an expression of disbelief
Word Origin
C15: from Old French marin, from Latin marīnus, from mare 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
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Word Origin and History for dead marine



early 15c., "pertaining to the sea," from Middle French marin, from Old French marin "of the sea, maritime," from Latin marinus "of the sea," from mare "sea, the sea, seawater," from PIE *mori- "body of water, lake" (see mere (n.)). The Old English word was sælic.


14c., "seacoast;" see marine (adj.). Meaning "collective shipping of a country" is from 1660s. Meaning "soldier who serves on a ship" is from 1670s, a separate borrowing from French marine, from the French adjective. Phrase tell that to the marines (1806) originally was the first half of a retort expressing skepticism:

"Upon my soul, sir," answered the lieutenant, "when I thought she scorned my passion, I wept like a child."

"Belay there!" cried the captain; "you may tell that to the marines, but I'll be d----d if the sailors will believe it." ["John Moore," "The Post-Captain; or, the Wooden Walls Well Manned," 1805]
The book, a rollicking sea romance/adventure novel, was popular in its day and the remark is a recurring punch line in it (repeated at least four times). It was written by naval veteran John Davis (1774-1854) but published under the name John Moore. Walsh records that, "The marines are among the 'jolly' jack-tars a proverbially gullible lot, capable of swallowing any yarn, in size varying from a yawl-boat to a full-rigged frigate."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dead marine in Science
  1. Relating to the sea.

  2. Relating to a system of open-ocean and unprotected coastal habitats, characterized by exposure to wave action, tidal fluctuation, and ocean currents and by the absence of trees, shrubs, or emergent vegetation. Water in the marine system is at or near the full salinity of seawater. Compare lacustrine, palustrine, riverine.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for dead marine

dead soldier

noun phrase

  1. An empty or emptied bottle, esp a liquor bottle •Dead man in the same sense is attested from 1738 (1913+)
  2. Food or plates of food only partially eaten: on the way to the kitchen with the dead soldiers, or leftovers (1920+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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