high seas

high sea

noun
1.
the sea or ocean beyond the three-mile limit or territorial waters of a country.
2.
Usually, high seas.
a.
the open, unenclosed waters of any sea or ocean; common highway.
b.
Law. the area within which transactions are subject to court of admiralty jurisdiction.

Origin:
before 1100; Middle English; Old English hēah-sǣ

high-sea, adjective
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World English Dictionary
high seas
 
pl n
(sometimes singular) the open seas of the world, outside the jurisdiction of any one nation

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

high seas

Open waters of an ocean or sea, beyond the territorial jurisdiction of a country. For example, Commercial fishermen are being forced to go out on the high seas in order to make a living. [c. 1100]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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