phrases, sayings, proverbs and idioms at

The meaning and origin of the expression: A sea change

A sea change

Other phrases by:

What's the meaning of the phrase 'A sea change'?

A 'sea change' is a radical change or transformation.

What's the origin of the phrase 'A sea change'?

The meaning and origin of the expression 'A sea change'.'The phrase originated in Shakespeare's play The Tempest, 1610:

ARIEL [sings]:
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell

Shakespeare's usage incorporates the current meaning, that is, a radical change. He also made the expression richer by alluding to the literal meaning of 'a change that is brought about by the sea'.

Gary Martin - the author of the website.

By Gary Martin

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Browse phrases beginning with:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T UV W XYZ Full List