- an ocean bordered by the American continents, Asia, and Australia: largest ocean in the world; divided by the equator into the North Pacific and the South Pacific. 70,000,000 sq. mi. (181,300,000 sq. km); greatest known depth, 35,433 feet (10,800 meters).
- the world’s largest and deepest ocean, lying between Asia and Australia and North and South America: almost landlocked in the north, linked with the Arctic Ocean only by the Bering Strait, and extending to Antarctica in the south; has exceptionally deep trenches, and a large number of volcanic and coral islands. Area: about 165 760 000 sq km (64 000 000 sq miles). Average depth: 4215 m (14 050 ft). Greatest depth: Challenger Deep (in the Marianas Trench), 11 033 m (37 073 ft). Greatest width: (between Panama and Mindanao, Philippines) 17 066 km (10 600 miles)
1660, from Medieval Latin Pacificum, neuter of Latin pacificus (see pacific); so called c.1500 by Magellan when he sailed into it and found it calmer than the stormy Atlantic. The largest ocean in the world, separating Asia and Australia on the west from North America and South America on the east.