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Definition of DUNGENESS CRAB
: a large edible crab (Cancer magister) of the Pacific coast of North America from Alaska to California
Illustration of DUNGENESS CRAB
Origin of DUNGENESS CRAB
Dungeness, village on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Washington
First Known Use: 1925
Edible crab (Cancer magister) found along the Pacific coast from Alaska to lower California, one of the coast's largest and most important commercial crabs. The male is 7–9 in. (18–23 cm) wide and 4–5 in. (10–13 cm) long. The reddish brown upper surface is lighter toward the back; the legs and undersurface are yellowish. It lives on sandy bottoms below the high-tide mark. Closely related North American species are the rock crab of the Atlantic coast, the Jonah crab in coastal waters from New England to Canada, and the red and Pacific rock crabs, both in Pacific coastal waters. All are edible, but their commercial importance varies.