fur seal


Definition of fur seal

: any of various eared seals that have a double coat with a dense soft underfur and were hunted especially formerly for their desirable pelts:
a : a large seal (Callorhinus ursinus) of the northern Pacific Ocean having its main breeding rookery on Pribilof Island in the Bering Sea

called also northern fur seal

b : any of a genus (Arctocephalus) of seals chiefly of the southern hemisphere

called also southern fur seal

Illustration of fur seal

Illustration of fur seal

Examples of fur seal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Exotic species, including ocean sunfish and Guadalupe fur seals, began roaming waters far north of their normal hunting grounds in Mexico and Southern California. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "‘Blob’ of warm Pacific water is back — could be trouble for marine life and weather," 10 Sep. 2019 Baby fur seals frequently hang out in tidepools, unaware of the danger just offshore as a leopard seal suddenly appears. Craig Welch, National Geographic, "A top Antarctic predator has switched what it eats," 2 May 2019 The surviving crew fixed the ship, stocked it full of hundreds of the sea otters, foxes, and fur seals that were abundant there and returned to Siberia, impressing Russian fur hunters with their valuable cargo. William L. Iggiagruk Hensley, Quartz, "Long before Trump’s Greenland offer, the US bought a chunk of the Arctic for a bargain," 19 Aug. 2019 The sandy beaches of the islands are also the territory of fur seals, elephant seals, and dolphins. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You'll Be Able to Watch a Total Solar Eclipse in The Direct Path of Totality on This Cruise to the Antarctic," 19 Aug. 2019 The two fur seals, on the other hand, very likely have a condition called leucism. Jeff Mauritzen, National Geographic, "Rare pale-colored penguin and seals spotted on remote island," 25 Apr. 2019 Great White Cage Diving at White Shark Guesthouse in South Africa South Africa, with its surrounding islands full of fur seals, is a popular destination for great white sharks. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Up-Close and Personal Shark Encounters that Shark Week Fans Can Safely Enjoy All Year," 24 July 2019 At that time, seabirds are at their lowest annual abundance, sea lion and fur seal pupping has ended and female elephant seals have yet to arrive to give birth, the agency states. Will Houston, The Mercury News, "Bay Area critics decry Fed’s plan to use banned rodent poison on Farallon Islands," 8 July 2019 More than 80 Guadalupe fur seals have also washed up dead or are barely hanging on to life on California beaches in the first five months of this year, five years into already alarming mortality rates for the species. Nick Rahaim, SFChronicle.com, "How is climate change is effecting oceans? Check the tide pools," 21 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fur seal.' 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 fur seal

1775, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fur seal

Dictionary Entries near fur seal



furry dance

fur seal


furta usus


Statistics for fur seal

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fur seal

The first known use of fur seal was in 1775

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on fur seal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fur seal

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fur seal

Comments on fur seal

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


to fake an opponent out of position

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?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!