halibut

noun
hal·​i·​but | \ ˈha-lə-bət also ˈhä- How to pronounce halibut (audio) \
plural halibut also halibuts

Definition of halibut

: any of several marine flatfishes (especially Hippoglossus hippoglossus of the Atlantic and H. stenolepis of the Pacific) that are widely used for food and include some of the largest bony fishes

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Among the different kinds of fish found in the world’s oceans is a group called the flatfish. Flatfish are well named, for they have flattened bodies with both eyes on the upper side of the head. In Middle English the word for flatfish was butte. During the Middle Ages, fish was often eaten on holy days in place of meat. The most popular fish for the holy days was the largest variety of flatfish, or “butte.” Thus, this particular fish came to be called in Middle English halybutte, meaning literally “holy flatfish,” from haly, a form of holy, and butte. In modern English the spelling has been changed to halibut.

Examples of halibut in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Water Grill in the Gaslamp Quarter will serve roasted wild Alaskan halibut with lobster sauce and your choice of by-the-glass wine and for dessert, sweet gaviota strawberries with fromage blanc sorbet and pistachio tuile. Carolina Gusman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "117 ways to celebrate mom: Your San Diego guide to Mother's Day brunches, lunches and dinners," 7 May 2018 Book a table in advance or make a reservation for the private dining room—decorated with a conceptual chandelier from designer Lindsey Adelman—to enjoy Marchand’s seasonal cuisine, like fluke carpaccio and halibut grenobloise. Town & Country, "Inside NYC's Latest Hub for Design, Dining, and Culture," 27 Dec. 2018 In the Bering Sea, halibut, pollock and cod are moving away. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Climate Change Drives Fish Into New Waters, Remaking an Industry," 22 Dec. 2018 Think of the foods that are abundant in the Pacific Northwest: salmon, halibut, cod, shellfish, clams, mussels, oysters, seaweed. Sandy M. Fernandez, Woman's Day, "How Three Women Are Pioneering to End Hunger in the U.S.," 14 Nov. 2018 Twice this past fall, the Oracle sailed 800 miles north from the seaport of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, before finding the halibut that a decade ago lived several hundred miles closer to home. Robert Lee Hotz, WSJ, "Climate Change Drives Fish Into New Waters, Remaking an Industry," 22 Dec. 2018 Salmon is still pretty spendy (and the heartbreaking Copper River fishing closure likely won't help that), but whole halibut has been a decent deal, at just around $10 a pound at local seafood markets. Anchorage Daily News, "How Alaska Eats: Make the historic Alaska cocktail (and other local food notes)," 15 June 2018 Guests enjoyed a curated dinner, with charcuterie and halibut ceviche by chefs Marie Sadron and Aimee Hunter. Julia Russo, Vogue, "An Evening Under the Stars: We the Women Collective Hosts a Variety Show at the Venice Beach House," 18 Sep. 2018 Research has shown that the whales will eat other fish — chum, coho, steelhead, halibut and lingcod. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Struggling orcas heavily rely on urban chinook from Seattle-area rivers, new analysis shows," 24 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for halibut

Middle English halybutte, from haly, holy holy + butte flatfish, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German but; from its being eaten on holy days

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about halibut

Statistics for halibut

Last Updated

22 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for halibut

The first known use of halibut was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for halibut

halibut

noun

English Language Learners Definition of halibut

: a large fish of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that is often eaten as food

halibut

noun
hal·​i·​but | \ ˈha-lə-bət How to pronounce halibut (audio) \
plural halibut or halibuts

Kids Definition of halibut

: a very large saltwater flatfish often used for food

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on halibut

Spanish Central: Translation of halibut

Nglish: Translation of halibut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about halibut

Comments on halibut

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

WORD OF THE DAY

grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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