har·​poon | \ här-ˈpün How to pronounce harpoon (audio) \

Definition of harpoon

: a barbed spear or javelin used especially in hunting large fish or whales

Other Words from harpoon

harpoon transitive verb
harpooner noun

Examples of harpoon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Proof of their resilience came in 2007, when a bowhead caught off this same stretch of Alaskan coast was found to have a fragment of a Victorian harpoon embedded in its neck. Travel, 29 Dec. 2021 The effects are particularly nifty, and the underwater photography, including the climactic parachute-submersible-harpoon mêlée, is tremendous. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 8 Oct. 2021 Skomal leaned from the 11-foot-long pulpit with the harpoon, which ended in a titanium dart attached to two tags. New York Times, 20 Oct. 2021 The monster truck is shown equipped with a harpoon and flamethrower for the battles on Fury Road. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 9 Sep. 2021 Our guide handed them the tip of a harpoon and then pointed out the window to Mount Greylock off in the distance. Dinaw Mengestu, Travel + Leisure, 21 July 2021 Unlike in the introduction, this truck driver is armed with a shotgun, leading to a chaotic moment of Vince dodging bullets while his harpoon wire is wrapped tightly around his arm. Nick Allen, Vulture, 28 June 2021 After that contact, the spike becomes free to twist, exposing its harpoon tips. Carl Zimmer, BostonGlobe.com, 14 Feb. 2021 But unlike the underwater knife and harpoon fights of James Bond in the 1965 Thunderball, these Army soldiers’ aim is not to fight an undersea enemy. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, 26 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harpoon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of harpoon

1625, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for harpoon

probably from Dutch harpoen, from Middle Dutch, from Old French harpon brooch, from harper to grapple

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Time Traveler for harpoon

Time Traveler

The first known use of harpoon was in 1625

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Dictionary Entries Near harpoon

harp on


harpoon fork

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Statistics for harpoon

Last Updated

8 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Harpoon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harpoon. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for harpoon



English Language Learners Definition of harpoon

: a long weapon used especially for hunting large fish or whales


har·​poon | \ här-ˈpün How to pronounce harpoon (audio) \

Kids Definition of harpoon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a barbed spear used especially for hunting whales and large fish


harpooned; harpooning

Kids Definition of harpoon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to strike with a barbed spear


har·​poon | \ här-ˈpün How to pronounce harpoon (audio) \

Medical Definition of harpoon

: a medical instrument with a barbed head used for removing bits of living tissue for examination

More from Merriam-Webster on harpoon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harpoon

Nglish: Translation of harpoon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about harpoon


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