crus·​ta·​cean ˌkrə-ˈstā-shən How to pronounce crustacean (audio)
: any of a large class (Crustacea) of mostly aquatic mandibulate arthropods that have a chitinous or calcareous and chitinous exoskeleton, a pair of often much modified appendages on each segment, and two pairs of antennae and that include the lobsters, shrimp, crabs, wood lice, water fleas, and barnacles
crustacean adjective

Examples of crustacean in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even before a lobster roll gets assembled in the kitchen, the restaurant has to acquire its crustaceans. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 13 Sep. 2023 So far, the bill dignifies vertebrates, decapod crustaceans (crabs and lobsters), and cephalopods (squids and octopuses), but not a single conscious bee. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2023 Maine's favorite crustacean is still active through autumn, as are the marine mammals among them. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, 3 Aug. 2023 Today’s blue whales eat tiny crustaceans called krill. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 2 Aug. 2023 These are in turn eaten by animals called zooplankton, including small crustaceans and fish larvae. WIRED, 2 Aug. 2023 Krill oil is made from the tiny, omega-3-rich crustaceans that fatty fish eat to become EPA and DHA-rich. Willow Jarosh, Ms, Rd, Health, 22 Aug. 2023 Party-planning guru Bronson van Wyck, for his part, recommends busting out of the red-and-green paradigm, and has decked out his client’s trees with outré motifs ranging from crustaceans to Noah’s ark. Anna Fixsen, ELLE Decor, 18 Aug. 2023 The little crustaceans cook in under five minutes, minimizing the amount of time that stands between you and sitting at the table. Zoe Denenberg, Bon Appétit, 19 July 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crustacean was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near crustacean

Cite this Entry

“Crustacean.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


crus·​ta·​cean ˌkrəs-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce crustacean (audio)
: any of a large class of mostly water-dwelling arthropods (as lobsters, shrimps, crabs, wood lice, water fleas, and barnacles) having an exoskeleton of chitin or chitin and a compound of calcium
crustacean adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on crustacean

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