al·​ba·​core ˈal-bə-ˌkȯr How to pronounce albacore (audio)
variants or albacore tuna
plural albacore or albacores or albacore tuna or albacore tunas
: a large tuna (Thunnus alalunga) of temperate and subtropical oceans that has long pectoral fins, that is dark blue with a gray to silvery-white belly, that may reach a length of 50 inches (127 centimeters), and that is a source of canned tuna
Typically albacore are found between 40 to 80 miles offshore, but they can be even farther out depending on water surface temperatures.Luke Whittaker
With their streamlined, torpedo-shaped bodies and high metabolisms, albacore tuna can swim at speeds upward of 30 mph …Dave Gershman and Ray Clarke
also : the flesh of albacore especially when canned for use as food
One cup of albacore, canned in water, will contain 5 grams of fat, of which 0.15 grams will be omega-3 fatty acids and 0.1 grams will be omega-6 fatty acids. Ed Blonz
: any of several tuna related to the albacore see also false albacore

Illustration of albacore

Illustration of albacore

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web For seafood lovers, there’s a lobster omelet ($22), albacore tuna sandwich ($15) salmon with cannelini bean salad and kale ($30). Michael James Rocha, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Apr. 2023 Warmer Pacific temperatures can also bring different species of fish, like yellowtail and albacore tuna, to places where the water is usually too cold. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 13 Apr. 2023 The 2021 report showed signs of recovery for four popular tunas: The southern bluefin tuna moved from critically endangered to endangered, the Atlantic bluefin tuna shifted from endangered to least concern, and both the albacore and yellowfin tuna moved from near threatened to least concern. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 Oct. 2021 Naturally, there are plenty of fishing charters that will take you out in search of salmon, lingcod, rockfish, and albacore. Travel + Leisure Editors, Travel + Leisure, 28 Apr. 2023 Chuck also fishes for albacore tuna and halibut. Erik Lacitis, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Feb. 2023 Light tuna in general has less mercury than albacore. Sarah Lynch Baldwin, CBS News, 9 Feb. 2023 According to the Consumer Reports findings, albacore tuna cans contained on average three times more mercury than light or skipjack tuna cans. Stephanie Brown, Verywell Health, 15 Feb. 2023 Along the Southern New England coast, Captain Dan Wood of Connecticut Woods and Waters runs his 30-foot Robalo for striped bass, bluefish, bonito, and False albacore from Rhode Island through Eastern New York. Tom Keer, Field & Stream, 16 June 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'albacore.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably borrowed from 16th-century Portuguese albaquora, albecora, of obscure origin

Note: Traditionally Portuguese and Spanish albacora and its Romance congeners have been taken as loans from an Arabic collocation al-bakūra "the albacore." The fish word would supposedly be derived from the Arabic root b-k-r, seen in bikr "first-born," bakr "young camel," on the assumption that it originally alluded to young tuna. As noted in the Oxford English Dictionary, third edition, the existence of such a word for the fish in Arabic, recorded only by a Spanish-speaking missionary to Morocco in the nineteenth century, is questionable. Oxford takes the earliest attestation of albacora in Romance to be Italian albacore (plural) in Antonio Pigafetta's Relazione del primo viaggio intorno al mondo, dated "ante 1525"; note, however, that this word is apparently only attested in a single manuscript of the Relazione (Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, L 103 sup.), of uncertain date and relation to Pigafetta's original text, which has not survived. For further etymological speculation see the Oxford English Dictionary.

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of albacore was in 1579

Dictionary Entries Near albacore

Cite this Entry

“Albacore.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


al·​ba·​core ˈal-bə-ˌkō(ə)r How to pronounce albacore (audio)
plural albacore or albacores
: a large tuna with long pectoral fins that is the source of most canned tuna

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