noun \ˈshrimp, especially Southern ˈsrimp\

: a small shellfish that has a long body and legs and that is eaten as food

: a very small or unimportant person

plural shrimps or shrimp

Full Definition of SHRIMP

:  any of numerous mostly small and marine decapod crustaceans (suborders Dendrobranchiata and Pleocyemata) having a slender elongated body, a compressed abdomen, and a long spiny rostrum and including some (especially family Penaeidae) that are commercially important as food; also :  a small crustacean (as an amphipod or a branchiopod) resembling the true shrimps
:  a very small or puny person or thing
shrimp·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective
shrimpy \ˈshrim-pē, ˈsrim-\ adjective

Examples of SHRIMP

  1. He's a little shrimp of a boy.
  2. <the boy was just a shrimp until his teens, when he had a growth spurt>

Origin of SHRIMP

Middle English shrimpe; akin to Middle Low German schrempen to contract, wrinkle, Old Norse skorpna to shrivel up
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Invertebrates (Except Insects) Terms

anemone, cephalopod, quahog


intransitive verb

Definition of SHRIMP

:  to fish for or catch shrimps

First Known Use of SHRIMP


Other Hunting and Fishing Terms

chum, covert, creel, flense, pitfall, seine, skulk, spoor, trawl


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Peneus setiferus, an edible shrimp—Marineland of Florida

Any of approximately 2,000 decapod species (suborder Natantia) having a semitransparent body flattened from side to side and a flexible abdomen terminating in a fanlike tail. The appendages are modified for swimming, and the antennae are long and whiplike. Shrimps occur in shallow and deep ocean waters and in lakes and streams. Species range from less than an inch (a few millimeters) to about 8 in. (20 cm) long. Larger species are often called prawns. Shrimps swim backward by rapidly flexing the abdomen and tail. They eat small plants and animals; some species eat carrion. Many species are commercially important as food. See also fairy shrimp.


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