Pacific salmon


: any of several anadromous salmonid fishes (genus Oncorhynchus) chiefly of the northern Pacific that typically die after spawning and include the coho, sockeye salmon, chum salmon, Chinook salmon, and pink salmon
Pacific salmon are born in freshwater rivers that empty into the ocean, and then—in migration patterns that amaze and baffle—often return to their rivers of birth at spawning time.Jennifer A. Kingson

Word History

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Pacific salmon was in 1888

Dictionary Entries Near Pacific salmon

Cite this Entry

“Pacific salmon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

Pacific salmon


More from Merriam-Webster on Pacific salmon

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!