Definition of marine in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /məˈriːn/


1Relating to or found in the sea: marine plants marine biology
More example sentences
  • After a period of teaching, he arrived in Wales in 1959 to study marine biology and bio-chemistry.
  • That included studying marine biology at university and even becoming an actor for a few years, which established his love of the theatre.
  • Whale Study Week includes boat trips as well as classes in whale biology and general marine ecology.
saltwater, seawater, sea, oceanic, aquatic
technical pelagic, thalassic
1.1Relating to shipping or naval matters: marine insurance
More example sentences
  • No one was injured and there just happened to be a qualified marine repairman on the dock when we put the boat into its slip.
  • As almost everyone knows, Trinidad is the place to have marine parts shipped in.
  • The same procedure is used when placing calls via the marine operator to shoreside telephones.
maritime, nautical, naval, seafaring, seagoing, ocean-going
1.2(Of artists or painting) depicting scenes at sea: marine painters
More example sentences
  • With Turner, however, his marine paintings - a third of his output - are the key to his entire oeuvre.
  • He served as a naval officer in the First World War and by 1945 was the best-known marine artist in Britain.
  • But today he is known as one of the finest living marine artists in the world.


A member of a body of troops trained to serve on land or sea, in particular (in the UK) a member of the Royal Marines or (in the US) a member of the Marine Corps: a contingent of 2,000 marines
More example sentences
  • Men who are recently out of the army or marines are favored to play hostile gunmen.
  • Seven other marines from 3 Commando Brigade and four American soldiers also died.
  • I went to live with my aunt's dad, who was a drill sergeant in the marines, and he tried to turn me into a soldier.



dead marine

Australian /NZ informal An empty bottle, especially a beer bottle: he threw the dead marines in the garbage tin
From British slang marine (officer) 'an empty bottle', referring to the view that officers were regarded as useless by seamen
More example sentences
  • "And that's a dead Marine if ever I saw one," chortles Roger in alcoholic mirth, upending the second bottle into Sue's glass.
  • Eventually the dead marine ale bottle would join the wrappers.
  • We sat down to curried bullybeef and potatoes, and a dead marine lay nearby.

tell that to the marines

A scornful expression of disbelief: most intelligent people will ask him to tell that to the marines
From the saying that will do for the marines but the sailors won't believe it, referring to the horse marines, an imaginary corps of cavalrymen serving as marines (thus out of their element)


Middle English (as a noun in the sense 'seashore'): from Old French marin, marine, from Latin marinus, from mare 'sea'.

  • The root of marine is Latin mare ‘sea’, the source also of mariner (Middle English), maritime (mid 16th century), and mermaid (Middle English). Marinate (mid 17th century) and marinade (late 17th century) are closely related, having originally been used of pickles and coming from a word for ‘salt water, brine’. Marines were originally any men serving on board a ship, but later the meaning was restricted to troops who were trained to serve on land or sea, now particularly the Royal Marines or, in the USA, the Marine Corps. These facts shed little light on the likely source of the expression tell that to the marines, used to express disbelief. It may have begun with a remark made by King Charles II (1630–85). He advised that implausible tales should be checked out with sailors, who, being familiar with distant lands, might be the people best qualified to judge whether they were true or not. Another idea picks up a clue left in the longer version tell that to the horse marines. The horse marines were an imaginary troop of cavalry soldiers serving on board a ship, used as an image of total ineptitude or of people completely out of their natural element. The idea is that such people are so clueless that they will believe anything they are told.

Words that rhyme with marine

Aberdeen, Amin, aquamarine, baleen, bean, been, beguine, Benin, between, canteen, careen, Claudine, clean, contravene, convene, cuisine, dean, Dene, e'en, eighteen, fascine, fedayeen, fifteen, figurine, foreseen, fourteen, Francine, gean, gene, glean, gombeen, green, Greene, Halloween, intervene, Janine, Jean, Jeannine, Jolene, Kean, keen, Keene, Ladin, langoustine, latrine, lean, limousine, machine, Maclean, magazine, Malines, margarine, Mascarene, Massine, Maxine, mean, Medellín, mesne, mien, Moline, moreen, mujahedin, Nadine, nankeen, Nazarene, Nene, nineteen, nougatine, obscene, palanquin, peen, poteen, preen, quean, Rabin, Racine, ramin, ravine, routine, Sabine, saltine, sardine, sarin, sateen, scene, screen, seen, serene, seventeen, shagreen, shebeen, sheen, sixteen, spleen, spring-clean, squireen, Steen, submarine, supervene, tambourine, tangerine, teen, terrine, thirteen, transmarine, treen, tureen, Tyrrhene, ultramarine, umpteen, velveteen, wean, ween, Wheen, yean

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mar¦ine

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.