basking shark

bask·​ing shark | \ ˈba-skiŋ- How to pronounce basking shark (audio) \

Definition of basking shark

: a large plankton-feeding shark (Cetorhinus maximus) that has an oil-rich liver and may attain a length of up to 45 feet (13.7 meters)

Examples of basking shark in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Despite their size and menacing appearance, basking sharks are not aggressive and are harmless to humans. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Mysterious giant shark tracked by satellites, rare sightings," 19 Aug. 2018 The data was taken from a 26-foot-long basking shark spotted in 2015 in Malin Head, Ireland. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "World's second-largest shark can jump just as high and as fast as great whites," 24 Sep. 2018 Out of the nearly 11,000 sightings of basking sharks recorded in the database, only ten large aggregations (more than 30 sharks) were found in the waters between Nova Scotia and Long Island. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Massive Gathering of Mysterious Basking Sharks Found in Aerial Photos," 13 Apr. 2018 Shark experts have several theories about why basking sharks would congregate. Nick Caloyianis, National Geographic, "Swarms of Huge Sharks Discovered, Baffling Experts," 12 Apr. 2018 Although fearsome looking, the basking sharks, which can grow up to 32 feet long, are not a threat to humans. Fox News, "Hundreds of 30-foot sharks swimming in massive swarms baffle scientists," 17 Apr. 2018 At the bridge, watch for basking sharks, porpoises, and dolphins. Jamie Moore, USA TODAY, "The world’s 10 most amazing suspension bridges," 26 Apr. 2018 Massive swarms of over 1,000 basking sharks spotted off the northeastern U.S. are puzzling scientists. Fox News, "Hundreds of 30-foot sharks swimming in massive swarms baffle scientists," 17 Apr. 2018 Typically solitary creatures, the throngs of basking sharks have surprised experts. Fox News, "Hundreds of 30-foot sharks swimming in massive swarms baffle scientists," 17 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'basking shark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of basking shark

circa 1769, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about basking shark

Statistics for basking shark

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for basking shark

The first known use of basking shark was circa 1769

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on basking shark

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with basking shark Encyclopedia article about basking shark

Comments on basking shark

What made you want to look up basking shark? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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