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

This evening's 170 guests were treated to a menu starting with steamed fillet of halibut with watercress mousse, asparagus spears, and chervil sauce. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Hosts a Lavish State Banquet for President Trump at Buckingham Palace," 3 June 2019 Worryingly, about a third of the time, the halibut was actually raw olive flounder, which commonly contains parasites. Gemma Zoe Price, WSJ, "The Fish Industry Is Plagued by Poor Quality and Fraud. One Chef Is Working to Combat It," 19 July 2018 Berkeley Charter Boats vessels are planning halibut trips beginning at the end of March and possibly through the season or until rockfish and then salmon seasons get going. sacbee, "Fishing Line: Week of March 19 | The Sacramento Bee," 20 Mar. 2018 Those green beans will cook at the same rate as a fish fillet—try pairing them with halibut for a roasted take on nicoise salad. Anna Stockwell, Bon Appetit, "10 Tips for Better Sheet-Pan Dinners," 2 Mar. 2018 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

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

14 Jun 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

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!