pes·​ca·​tar·​i·​an ˌpe-skə-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce pescatarian (audio)
variants or pescetarian
: one whose diet includes fish but no other meat

Did you know?

The Difference Between Vegetarian, Vegan, and Other Diets

The word vegetarian sprouted up in 1839. Fruitarian ("a person who lives on fruit") ripened by 1893. In 1944, vegetarians who consume no animal or dairy products began calling themselves vegans. Then, in 1993, those who eat fish but no other meat chose pesce, the Italian word for "fish," to create the designation pescatarian. In that same year, meatatarian was served up as a word for those whose diet largely includes meat; that word is rare, however, and is usually used in informal and humorous ways, making it the type of fare not included in our dictionaries. Another fairly recent dietary word is flexitarian, a person who follows a mostly vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish.

Examples of pescatarian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Diets included in this category are DASH, Mediterranean, pescatarian, and ovo/lacto-vegetarian diets. Rebecca Jaspan, Mph, Rd, Cdn, Cdces, Health, 16 May 2023 There, a team of chefs prepares 21-course pescatarian or vegan tasting menus but also finds time to delight kitchen visitors with snacks like oysters with tuna tartare and tapioca, and tiny tacos filled with seafood. Ann Abel, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2023 The restaurant, founded in 1973 in Ithaca, N.Y., by a collective of like-minded friends, was one of the country’s first to champion vegetarian and pescatarian dining. G. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 4 May 2023 Davis is a pescatarian — no beef, turkey, chicken, etc., but fish was absolutely on the menu. Gerrad Hall,, 1 May 2023 But pescatarians, vegetarians, and even vegans are all catered to in the standard options available with each flight. Brad Japhe, Travel + Leisure, 1 May 2023 The others in the Tier 1 group included the pescatarian diet (92 points), the Mediterranean diet (89 points) and the vegetarian diet (86 points). Anahad O'Connor, Anchorage Daily News, 30 Apr. 2023 Mila’s daughter Wyatt is a pescatarian, so Mila shared that fish is usually in frequent rotation in their household. Korin Miller, Women's Health, 21 Apr. 2023 While some steer clear of certain or all animal proteins as vegans, pescatarians, or otherwise, the average American consumes 83 pounds of beef per year, according to University of Illinois estimates—a good chunk of that being by way of ground beef. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 24 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History


probably from Italian pesce fish (from Latin piscis) + English vegetarian

First Known Use

1991, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pescatarian was in 1991


Dictionary Entries Near pescatarian

Cite this Entry

“Pescatarian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!