nurse shark


: any of various usually bottom-dwelling sharks (family Ginglymostomatidae) with barbels near the nostrils
especially : a large yellowish to grayish brown shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) of warm usually shallow coastal waters that is typically nonaggressive and rests often in groups on the sea floor during the day

Examples of nurse shark in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The most challenging catch of the day was an ample 6-foot nurse shark that Macdonald estimated to weigh 200 pounds. Linda Robertson, Miami Herald, 27 Mar. 2024 Youngsters will love interacting with horseshoe crabs and starfish in the Tide Pool Touch Tank, petting the baby stingrays or even feeding the adult nurse sharks. Miami Staff, Miami Herald, 7 Mar. 2024 Kids and adults alike will delight at all there is to see and do there – from dolphin and sea lion shows to nature tours and various animal exhibits featuring nurse sharks, sea turtles, crocadilians, even birds of prey. Miami Staff, Miami Herald, 7 Mar. 2024 The Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, on Hutchinson Island, fronts the Intracoastal Waterway and rehabilitates sea turtles, rays and nurse sharks, which swim in pretty lagoons fed by Indian River. Terry Ward, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Feb. 2024 The first catch is a two-meter-long, sandy-brown nurse shark. Brian Owens, Scientific American, 18 Oct. 2023 The nurse shark was stuck to the reef by a large fishing hook. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 27 July 2023 No fatalities were reported in the next five species of biting sharks: blacktip reef shark, nurse shark, spinner shark, the bronze whaler and the lemon shark, according to the file. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 13 June 2023 Head to Shark Ray Alley to snorkel among nurse sharks and stingrays; visit Hol Chan Marine Reserve to get up close with eels, turtles, and colorful fish; or explore the underwater caves of Blue Hole. Melissa Locker, Travel + Leisure, 10 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'nurse shark.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of nusse

First Known Use

1851, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nurse shark was in 1851

Dictionary Entries Near nurse shark

Cite this Entry

“Nurse shark.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

nurse shark

: a shark of warm waters that is active at night

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