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

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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 This cookbook is a must-have for pescatarians, home cooks with a knack for sustainability, adventurous eaters, and anyone who loves hosting dinner parties. L. Daniela Alvarez, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Feb. 2024 The mayor, a pescatarian who frequently names vegan soul food spot The Land of Kush as one of his favorite Baltimore restaurants, cited the health and environmental benefits of vegan eating in his proclamation. Amanda Yeager, Baltimore Sun, 17 Jan. 2024 Its weekly menu features around 50 meals to choose from, including ample vegetarian options and vegan options (along with dishes that fit a variety of other diets, like paleo and pescatarian). Tiffany Hopkins, Bon Appétit, 30 Oct. 2023 On Mondays, meat eaters can enjoy the BBQ dinner menu that offers a special three-course meal but pescatarians, vegans, and vegetarians can still look forward to the regular menu for Italian-style salad, pasta, and fish dishes. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 3 Nov. 2023 While the main menu is meat-forward, the restaurant also offers vegetarian, pescatarian, and celiac menus. Lauren Dana Ellman, Travel + Leisure, 7 Oct. 2023 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

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 21 Jul. 2024.

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