salm·​on | \ ˈsa-mən How to pronounce salmon (audio) \
plural salmon also salmons

Definition of salmon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a large anadromous salmonid fish (Salmo salar) of the North Atlantic noted as a game and food fish

called also Atlantic salmon

b : any of various anadromous salmonid fishes other than the salmon especially : pacific salmon
c : a fish (such as a barramundi) resembling a salmon
2 : the variable color of salmon's flesh averaging a strong yellowish pink


geographical name
Salm·​on | \ ˈsa-mən How to pronounce Salmon (audio) \

Definition of Salmon (Entry 2 of 2)

river 420 miles (676 kilometers) long in central Idaho flowing into the Snake River

Examples of salmon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Oregon anglers participating in Washington’s free fishing must follow Washington’s law requiring catch record cards for sturgeon and salmon. Bill Monroe, oregonlive, 10 June 2021 Given Adams’s veganism, what’s that salmon doing in the refrigerator? Christopher Bonanos, Curbed, 9 June 2021 In all, more than 17 million salmon will be released into the San Francisco Bay. CBS News, 9 June 2021 Normal aging may include trouble remembering which night of the week a person dined on salmon, for example. NBC News, 8 June 2021 In my house, that can be a small piece of rotisserie chicken or grilled salmon with veggies and wheatberry salad. Lisa Drayer, CNN, 7 June 2021 Copper River King salmon is called the King of Kings for a reason. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 5 June 2021 Baby salmon are washing up dead en masse on the Klamath River, devastating the Yurok Tribe, as Anna V. Smith writes for High Country News. Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2021 Spirit bears, like the one Valberg photographed, are highly conspicuous from a human standpoint, but this is not the case for a salmon looking up through the water. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 1 June 2021

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for salmon


Middle English samon, from Anglo-French salmon, samon, from Latin salmon-, salmo

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Time Traveler for salmon

Time Traveler

The first known use of salmon was in the 13th century

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Statistics for salmon

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Salmon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for salmon



English Language Learners Definition of salmon

: a large fish that is born in streams but that lives most of its life in the ocean and that is commonly used for food


salm·​on | \ ˈsa-mən How to pronounce salmon (audio) \

Kids Definition of salmon

: a fish with reddish or pinkish flesh that is often caught for sport or food and lives most of its life in the ocean but swims up rivers or streams as an adult to deposit or fertilize eggs

More from Merriam-Webster on salmon

Nglish: Translation of salmon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of salmon for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about salmon


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