This excerpt come from A Romance of the South Seas by Herman Melville

Six months at sea! Yes, reader, as I live, six months out of sight of land; cruising after the sperm-whale beneath the scorching sun of the Line, and tossed on the billows of the wide-rolling Pacific.

Does wide-rolling mean the wide and undulating Pacific?

What's the purpose of combining the two words: wide and rolling?

  • 1
    Yes, the wide, undulating Pacific. What book is this? It rolls [the waves] over the wide Pacific. It's just poetic. – Lambie Feb 11 at 16:32

My interpretation:

It is referring to very low frequency ocean waves.

That construct is used to make 'wide' and adverb for 'rolling' and not an adjective for Pacific.

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