Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Aquatic and Marine

lakeAquatic vs Marine

Aquatic and Marine’¦When people come across these two words, they often use them interchangeably which is generally acceptable. However, both have their differences and each has its own suitable usage in the English language.

The word “Aquatic” roots from the indo-european word “aqua or akwa” meaning water. In Latin, it is “aquaticus” and in Old French, “aquatique”. All of the derivations have the same meaning as it all refers to the compound substance “water”.

Aquatic in Modern English, is considered as an adjective which means growing or living or operating in water. Based on its roots and early derivations, it is apparent that it is a general term with no exact specification what kind of water ‘“ either tap, fresh, sea, or ocean ‘“ it is pertaining to.

Aquatic, as an adjective, is often used to describe a property or characteristic of living things, machines, or activities relating to their operation or type of existence, for instance, aquatic animals, aquatic vehicles, or aquatic sports. The word succinctly illustrate that such things are living or done in or on water.

Technically speaking, the term aquatic encompasses all kinds of body of water. However, in some cases, the term “aquatic” refers to freshwater exclusively. Particularly in biology, aquatic often means life in freshwater environment. The sea or ocean would have a different term to distinguish it from the rest. Thus, we go to another term ‘“ “Marine”.

The word Marine comes from the indo-european word “more”, meaning “sea”. In Latin, it is “marinus” and in Middle English, “marin”, in which it holds the same meaning. The word specifically refers to the sea or ocean and it does not apply to anything else such as, lakes, rivers, and etc.

As an adjective, the term “marine” is used to describe that a particular organism, thing, or activity functions in or on sea. It is specific. When one says of marine biology, it only implies living things in the sea or ocean. Also, marine exploration will only refer to maritime or nautical affairs.


1. Aquatic, technically, refers to all kinds of water, thus it is general, while marine only pertains to the sea or having to do with the ocean.

2. Particularly in biology, the term “aquatic” pertains to freshwater while “marine” always relates to the sea or ocean. “Marine” is also associated with nautical affairs.

3. Aquatic’s indo-european word origin means “water” while marine means “sea”.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for this! I never knew there was a difference.

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