# In ocean water, is salt a solvent or a solute?

Surely it is a $\text{solute.........}$?
A solution is composed of a disperse phase, the $\text{SOLVENT}$ and is ALSO the reagent in excess; it dissolves a $\text{SOLUTE}$, the species in solution.
And for sea water, we have (among other things) sodium chloride dissolved in water to give discrete $N {a}^{+}$ and $C {l}^{-}$ ions, i.e. the $\text{solute}$.