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plural bream or breams
: a bronze-colored European freshwater cyprinid fish (Abramis brama)
broadly : any of various related fishes
: any of various marine fish (family Sparidae) related to the porgy

called also sea bream

: any of various freshwater sunfishes (Lepomis and related genera)
especially : bluegill


2 of 2


breamed; breaming; breams

transitive verb

: to clean (a ship's bottom) by heating and scraping

Examples of bream in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Try his Mediterranean red bream made with kabocha pumpkin and mussels marinières, with a Sturia (Osetra caviar) supplement for an additional €15. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Jan. 2024 While some anglers swear by chicken thighs, baitfish like shad, herring, and bream, are more popular. Pete M. Anderson, Field & Stream, 28 Sep. 2023 The air was thick with the sweet smell of spawning bream, and the creek bottom was pockmarked with bream beds. Bryan Hendricks, Arkansas Online, 6 Aug. 2023 There may be 200 or 300 yards of shoreline that are less productive than two bookend bream beds. Steve Price, Field & Stream, 7 June 2023 There is already over 2 million pounds of fish caught and sold from Florida freshwater bodies such as catfish, tilapia and bream. Ed Killer,, 18 Oct. 2021 The memories of the Greek fisherman who might have caught 100 sea bream in an hour are lost to his great-grandson who thinks a 10-fish day is a great success. Paul Greenberg, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Dec. 2022 Having recently just eaten bream for the first time, I'm relieved to find out that the parasite does not cause human disease. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 2 Mar. 2012 The lake has been restocked with black bass, bluegill, redear bream, and fathead minnows, according to the listing. Gabriel Romero, Chron, 24 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History



Middle English breme, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German brahsima bream, Middle High German brehen to shine


probably from Dutch brem furze; from the use of burning furze in the cleaning

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1626, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bream was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near bream

Cite this Entry

“Bream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural bream or breams
: any of various freshwater fishes
especially : any of several sunfishes (as a bluegill)
: any of several saltwater fishes related to the porgy

More from Merriam-Webster on bream

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