kraken

noun
kra·​ken | \ ˈkrä-kən How to pronounce kraken (audio) \
plural krakens or kraken

Definition of kraken

: a fabulous Scandinavian sea monster

Examples of kraken in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Similar sightings of giant oarfish, giant squid and other undersea giants led early sailors to weave tales about sea serpents, the kraken and other beasts. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Meet the Real Animals Behind Mermaids, Dragons and Other Mythical Creatures," 21 Dec. 2020 The kraken of Nordic legends was likely based on actual sightings of giant squid and octopuses, but folklore embellished it into a monstrosity capable of creating massive whirlpools and swallowing up even the largest ships. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "Re-Releasing the ‘Kraken’: Mythical Beast of the Sea, Movies and Now, Election Disputes," 3 Dec. 2020 The kraken has taken on many shapes in the minds of mariners and in the renderings of artists. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Legend, the History and the Science Behind Seattle’s New Hockey Team Name," 24 July 2020 The kraken’s more ancient origins are in Nordic folklore. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Legend, the History and the Science Behind Seattle’s New Hockey Team Name," 24 July 2020 Linnaeus classified the kraken as a cephalopod, the group that includes octopuses, squid and cuttlefish. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Legend, the History and the Science Behind Seattle’s New Hockey Team Name," 24 July 2020 Some stayed just a fraction of an inch wide, while other kraken-like giants grew to more than eight feet across. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "This ancient sea creature fossilized in tree resin. How'd that happen?," 13 May 2019 But with the emergence of up-and-coming Warriors like Quinn Cook and Kevon Looney, Kerr is free to unleash the krakens … early, often and in unison. Al Saracevic, San Francisco Chronicle, "In the end, the Warriors death lineup killed the Pelicans," 8 May 2018 Sue Doster, 53, struggled to hold up her top hat, a foam sailboat being sunk by the red tentacles of a kraken sea monster. Luis FerrÉ-sadurnÍ, New York Times, "Only in New York: Easter Parade With Moai Heads and a Kraken," 1 Apr. 2018

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

1755, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kraken

Norwegian dialect

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kraken

Statistics for kraken

Cite this Entry

“Kraken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kraken. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on kraken

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kraken

Comments on kraken

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!