mer·​man | \ ˈmər-ˌman How to pronounce merman (audio) , -mən \

Definition of merman

: a fabled marine creature with the head and upper body of a man and the tail of a fish

Examples of merman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even the Sun King of merman movies can’t buy his way out of his previous mistakes. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Judd Apatow’s Comedy Masterpiece," 1 May 2020 In one 16th-century book of curious and bizarre creatures compiled by Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner, drawings of the sunfish feature alongside images of mermen and sea monsters. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "How a bizarre, monster fish hoodwinked researchers and reeled in a wave of citizen scientists," 22 Feb. 2020 Bas-relief mermaids and mermen watch over its fountain pool. Siddhartha Mitter, New York Times, "Kara Walker Takes a Monumental Jab at Britannia," 30 Sep. 2019 Yes, an actual merman, with flippers, who has been alive for centuries. Rachel Syme, New York Times, "In ‘The Pisces,’ a Woman and a Merman Fall in Love. Aquatic Erotica Ensues.," 26 Apr. 2018 More recently, makeup and computer magic were combined to create a merman lead actor in much-lauded The Shape of Water. Adam Bargteil, Smithsonian, "How ‘Jurassic Park’ Made History 25 Years Ago, Propelling Computer-Generated Animation Forward," 9 June 2018 In the Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water, a mute maid, her gay best friend, her African American co-worker, and a merman team up to escape the menace of a straight white guy who works for the government. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Oscars' Gauzy Take on Intersectionality," 5 Mar. 2018 The map is packed with fantastical creatures, from unicorns in Siberia to mermen frollicking in the Southern Ocean and a terrifying bird flying off with an elephant in its talons. National Geographic, "Bizarre, Enormous 16th-Century Map Assembled for First Time," 7 Dec. 2017 And one image in particular, that of a woman and a merman floating in an underwater embrace, distills the movie to its soulful essence. Mekado Murphy, New York Times, "The Hand-Drawn Journey of the ‘Shape of Water’ Poster," 3 Nov. 2017

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

1601, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for merman

Time Traveler

The first known use of merman was in 1601

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Cite this Entry

“Merman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for merman


mer·​man | \ ˈmər-ˌman How to pronounce merman (audio) \
plural mermen\ -​ˌmen \

Kids Definition of merman

: an imaginary sea creature usually shown with a man's head and body and a fish's tail

More from Merriam-Webster on merman Encyclopedia article about merman

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