Definition of at sea in US English:

at sea


  • 1Sailing on the sea.

    • ‘Faces of sailors and their lost equipment are scattered throughout the waves, representing the men who died at sea.’
    • ‘When the building is lit at night, the glazing disappears, making the naked structure look like a platform at sea.’
    • ‘More explicitly, the building is an event on the horizon, like a ship at sea, with its assemblage of long white volumes rising out of a dense dark base clad in strips of charcoal-coloured slate.’
    • ‘Rescuers found the craftsman in his boat at sea, unharmed.’
    • ‘At the end of the video, the figure sets off in a small boat, apparently lost at sea in an inhospitable universe.’
    • ‘‘Our goal is to provide the safest, highest quality U.S.-produced dairy products to our troops anywhere, ground troops or ships at sea,’ he says.’
    • ‘‘Over time, the images evolved from ships in port to more elaborate ships at sea,’ said Freeman.’
    • ‘The final 7 percent were capable of processing their catch while at sea.’
    • ‘Ever since wooden ships were felled by storms at sea or robbed by pirates, successful businesses risked coming to grief crossing oceans.’
    • ‘White captives taken at sea and spirited away into harems were virtually synonymous with the infamy of the Regency of Algiers, and the subject became a staple of visual representation.’
    1. 1.1 Confused or unable to decide what to do.
      ‘he feels at sea with economics’
      • ‘The structuring of the story is sometimes all at sea, but the tone of the show - a kind of loveable gruesomeness - is very appealing.’
      • ‘After barely one hundred lines, even the most astute and intrepid explorer is all at sea and gasping for air.’
      • ‘She appeared all at sea, with no script but her presence of mind to rely on.’
      • ‘She described how the first week they were all at sea, but in the second week they were soaking up the experience like sponges.’
      • ‘While Kerry were solid enough at the back, they were all at sea at midfield, while they never threatened down the wings and this was the most disappointing aspect of all.’
      • ‘This was a striking turnaround for a party that had been all at sea.’
      • ‘The gaeltacht side was all at sea (no pun intended) in an opening half dominated by the losers.’
      • ‘They are, in a phrase, all at sea and sinking fast.’
      • ‘As though that were not bad enough, we are now being told that our investment policy, which is momentous to any purposeful economic development, is all at sea.’
      • ‘Rather you want to throw out a lifeline to the subjects, who are clearly confused and all at sea.’
      confused, perplexed, puzzled, baffled, mystified, bemused, bewildered, nonplussed, disconcerted, disoriented, dumbfounded, at a loss, at sixes and sevens, adrift
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