What is the Definition of Maritime?

question mark shaped topiary on island

Have you ever wondered what is the definition of maritime? What does maritime mean? Is the definition of maritime the same as it is for nautical? And what is the difference between marine and maritime - if any?

At Martide we love pretty much anything to do with the ocean, vessels, and the maritime industry - and as anyone who reads our seafarer blog or our employer blog knows, we quite like words too!

So for this post, we’re going to take a different route to our usual topics and explore the question, what does maritime mean?

What is the definition of maritime?

Obviously, our first port of call (and yes, that nautical pun was intended!) is the dictionary. We were interested to see whether all dictionaries had the same answer for what is the meaning of maritime. Here are a few examples of what we found:

At Dictonary.com, what is the definition of maritime gives you these various answers:

  • Associated with the sea or waterways to the sea in relation to navigation, shipping etc.
  • Of or relating to the sea or waterways to the sea
  • Bordering on the sea
  • Living near or in the sea
  • Characteristic of a sailor; nautical

Meanwhile the Cambridge Dictionary has these results for what does maritime mean:

  • Connected with human activity at sea
  • Near the sea or coast
  • Connected with ships or the sea, or being near the sea

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has this answer for what is the definition of maritime:

  • Of, relating to, or bordering on the sea
  • Of or relating to navigation or commerce on the sea
  • Having the characteristics of a mariner

Finally, let’s look at the Collins Dictionary’s entry for what is the definition of maritime. What’s interesting here is that they break the two definitions down into British English and American English.

Their general answer to what does the term maritime refer to is this:

  • Maritime is used to describe things relating to the sea and to ships

In British English it’s described as this:

  • Of or relating to navigation, shipping, etc; seafaring
  • Of, relating to, near, or living near the sea
  • (Of a climate) having small temperature differences between summer and winter; equable

However, in American English there is one more meaning of the word maritime and the meanings of the word in relation to the weather are different too:

  • On, near, or living near the sea
  • Of or relating to sea navigation, shipping, etc.
  • Characteristic of sailors; nautical
  • Meteorology: of the relatively wet air or climate associated with large bodies of water

What does the word maritime mean and where does it come from?

The word maritime actually comes from the Latin word maritimus and from mare sea. (Those of you who know French will also know that the French word for sea is mer.)

So that brings us to - what is the word maritime in some other languages?

How do you say ‘maritime’ in Spanish, German or Italian?

In languages which use the Latin alphabet (also called the Roman alphabet) - such as English, the different words for ‘maritime’ are actually almost all very similar. For example:

  • English: maritime
  • Danish: maritim
  • Dutch: maritiem
  • Spanish (European and Latin American): marítimo
  • French: maritime
  • German: maritim
  • Italian: marittimo
  • Norwegian: maritim
  • Portuguese (European and Brazillian): marítimo
  • Romanian: maritim

Did you realize you know how to say ‘maritime’ in so many different languages? We have to admit, we didn’t until we wrote this blog post!

As for languages that use the Latin alphabet that have a different spelling and pronunciation of ‘maritime’, these include:

  • Croatian: pomorski
  • Czech: námořní
  • Finnish: merenkulku-
  • Polish: morski
  • Swedish: sjö-
  • Turkish: denizcilikle ilgili

Okay, language lesson over for the day! Now let’s take a look at another question that we discovered is often Googled: What is the difference between marine and maritime?

What is the difference between marine and maritime?

Well this is only slightly trickier than it sounds. We now know that the answer to what does maritime mean is that the word is mostly used when we talk about shipping, seafaring, navigation and living or being near or on the sea.

Read more: Why Do Ships Use Port and Starboard?

Marine, on the other hand, relates to the ocean and the life found in it: fish, sea creatures, and plants.

But here’s where it gets a little bit confusing, because no doubt you’ve also heard of marine insurance, marine engines, and marine traffic.

Oh well, we guess we just have to accept that this is yet another example of English being a slippery language to get hold of!

So now we’ve got some answers to the burning question of the day, what is the meaning of maritime, let’s talk about how Martide can help you find maritime jobs!

How Martide can help you find maritime jobs

What does maritime mean to Martide? To us it means matching the right crew to the right seafarer jobs!

If you’re looking for jobs at sea, take a look at our current maritime job vacancies and see if we have anything you wish to apply for.

We’re always looking for qualified people to fill our Able Seaman jobs, Chief Engineer jobs, Second Officer jobs, Oiler jobs, Ordinary Seaman jobs, Second Engineer jobs, Chief Officer jobs and many more!

Best of all, applying is easy and can be done in just four quick steps!

  1. Create an account with Martide
  2. Create your seafarer profile (this is like your online seaman resume and includes your work history and seafarer documents)
  3. Check out our maritime job vacancies
  4. Click the Apply button if you’re interested and your seafarer profile will be automatically sent to the relevant employer or manning agent

See - it really is as easy as ABC! And best of all, you only need to fill out your seafarer profile once. You can update it if you need to but Martide will store all of your information so that it's much quicker and easier to apply for any of our jobs at sea.

Download the free Martide app too

If you’re serious about looking for jobs at sea, you should also download Martide’s free app for seafarers. The app allows you to update your seafarer profile, apply for jobs and stay in touch with employers no matter where in the world you are.

Advert for Martide's maritime jobs website showing a container ship and text advertising seafarer jobs

Download the app from Google Play for Android devices and from the App Store for Apple and we’ll look forward to helping you find your next great seafarer job!

Eve Church

Eve Church

Eve is Martide's content writer, publishing regular posts on everything from our maritime recruitment and crew planning software to life at sea. Eve has been writing professionally for more than two decades, crafting everything from SEO-focused blog posts and website landing pages to magazine articles and corporate whitepapers.


Advert 4
Find the best candidate!
From deck ratings to engine officers, Martide
is the only site for maritime jobs
Post a job →
Advert 4