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[naw-ti-kuh l, not-i-] /ˈnɔ tɪ kəl, ˈnɒt ɪ-/
of or relating to sailors, ships, or navigation:
nautical terms.
Origin of nautical
1545-55; < Latin nautic(us) pertaining to ships or sailors (< Greek nautikós, equivalent to naû(s) ship + -tikos -tic) + -al1
Related forms
[naw-ti-kal-i-tee, not-i-] /ˌnɔ tɪˈkæl ɪ ti, ˌnɒt ɪ-/ (Show IPA),
nautically, adverb
nonnautical, adjective
nonnautically, adverb
unnautical, adjective
Can be confused
naval, nautical.
seagoing, marine, maritime. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nautical
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • After this piece of nautical gallantry, the glass began to circulate.

    Homeward Bound James Fenimore Cooper
  • Sears was excited now, and, as usual when excited, drifted into nautical phraseology.

    Fair Harbor Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • We spoke one or two vessels, and spent some time “gaming” with them,—the nautical phrase for visiting.

    The Captive in Patagonia Benjamin Franklin Bourne
  • On the whole river there was nothing that looked half so nautical.

    Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
  • It conveys to the nautical mind an idea of skill which no "lubber" can possess.

    Brave Old Salt Oliver Optic
  • This is what we nautical Men shout to one another as we pass in our Ships.

    Letters of Edward FitzGerald Edward FitzGerald
  • But it had a nautical air for the moment, and seemed somehow in keeping with that old lady's marine experience.

    When Ghost Meets Ghost William Frend De Morgan
  • Poor Giuseppe, in spite of his nautical costume, was man of all work.

    Jerry Jean Webster
British Dictionary definitions for nautical


of, relating to, or involving ships, navigation, or sailors
Derived Forms
nautically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin nauticus, from Greek nautikos, from naus ship
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 nautical

1550s, from -al (1) + nautic from Middle French nautique, from Latin nauticus "pertaining to ships or sailors," from Greek nautikos "seafaring, naval," from nautes "sailor," from naus "ship," from PIE *nau- "boat" (see naval).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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