from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • The open waters of an ocean or a sea beyond the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of a country: piracy on the high seas.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Parts of the ocean surface that are far from shore.
  • n. International waters; parts of the ocean that are not considered to belong to any specific country.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. the open sea; the part of the ocean not in the territorial waters of any particular sovereignty, usually distant three miles or more from the coast line.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • When U-1 completed her sea trials in 1907, she was pronounced satisfactory for coastal operations, but it was warned that “her employment on the high seas is attended with danger.”

    Castles of Steel

  • Varner was convicted in March of 1865 of blockade-running and dereliction of duty on the high seas when his ship, the cargo vessel Feronia, foundered off the coast near Swampscott.

    The Monstrumologist

  • Yes, we have heard on the high seas the voice of a war-steamer, built for a man-stealing Confederacy, with English gold, in an English dockyard, going out of an English harbor, manned by English sailors, with the full knowledge of English government officers, in defiance of the Queen's proclamation of neutrality!

    The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • It seems more probable that raiders win1 meet their supply ships on the high seas than attempt to use out-of-the-way anchorages.

    Graf Spee

  • A planet, like a ship on the high seas that has broken its cable, thunder-struck and storm-driven, is tossed upon the ocean of sin and the vasty deep of moral pollution.

    Autobiography, sermons, addresses, and essays of Bishop L. H. Holsey, D. D.,

  • Guayaquil; and that he stood trial for brutality on the high seas in New York City.


  • Meanwhile, Horatio Bridge had been traversing the high seas in the

    The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Just before midnight with high seas running and the strong trade wind blowing, a signal lamp was used to challenge the ship, using English morse, but she did not reply.

    Graf Spee

  • The 29th Division was on the high seas aboard twenty-two troopships and would not arrive until the first week of April.

    Castles of Steel


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