eel·​grass ˈēl-ˌgras How to pronounce eelgrass (audio)
: a submerged long-leaved monocotyledonous marine plant (Zostera marina) that is found especially in coastal temperate waters and whose dried stems and leaves are used especially as packing material in woven goods

Examples of eelgrass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Since being restocked in the 1990s with otters, eelgrass in the tidal estuary about 20 miles up the coast from the aquarium has flourished because of a remarkable ecological cascade. Dino Grandoni and Melina Mara, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Sep. 2023 The unexpected result: The introduction of otters in Elkhorn Slough helped boost eelgrass by 60 percent, according to a 2013 study, turning it into a vibrant nursery of juvenile fish and a crucial pit stop for migratory birds. Dino Grandoni and Melina Mara, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Sep. 2023 Geneticists reconstructed parts of the eelgrass genome, looking for similarities and differences between and within the eelgrass living in the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. Rebecca Dzombak, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Aug. 2022 Blue carbon refers to coastal habitat such as wetlands, marshes, kelp forests and eelgrass beds that capture and store carbon in soil, plant matter and the sea floor. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 May 2022 The eelgrass in the refuge is a magnet for migrating ducks and geese. Scott McMurren, Anchorage Daily News, 16 Apr. 2023 The Carlsbad Aquafarm has been allocated a $230,000 grant to install and monitor native oyster reefs and eelgrass meadows along the shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon near the strawberry fields, the Carlsbad desalination plant and the Encina power plant. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Mar. 2023 The last straw was mounting evidence presented by environmentalists that the anchors and chains of the live-aboards had destroyed as much as 40% of the eelgrass that grows on the floor of the shallow estuary and provides a critical habitat for birds and fish. Rachel Scheier, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2021 William Dennison, the vice president of science applications at UMCES, said the scores for aquatic grasses may be misleading because high-salinity eelgrass was drastically harmed by two consecutive high-temperature summers, but have been offset by a large expansion of thriving freshwater grasses. Washington Post, 22 June 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'eelgrass.' 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

1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of eelgrass was in 1790

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Cite this Entry

“Eelgrass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


eel·​grass ˈē(ə)l-ˌgras How to pronounce eelgrass (audio)
: a saltwater plant that is a monocotyledon and has long ribbonlike leaves

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