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 Leo will grill a turkey and smoke a side of salmon. Kim Severson, New York Times, "They Welcomed Dozens for Thanksgiving. Now What?," 23 Nov. 2020 There are canoes and a tackle box and over the mantel an image of a salmon. David Gilbert, The New Yorker, "Preparing to Spin the Wheel of Fortune," 23 Nov. 2020 All-Star decked out the mansion during his decade-long stay, painting the exterior an eye-catching shade of salmon and adding high-end amenities such as a bowling alley, wet bar and gym. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Paul Pierce lists Calabasas mansion with Celtics basketball court for $11 million," 18 Nov. 2020 The return of the salmon unleashes an annual feeding frenzy. Amy Gulick, The New Republic, "The Majestic Alaskan Rain Forest in Trump’s Crosshairs," 5 Nov. 2020 The Duchy of Lancaster is as slippery as some of the salmon which dart up the river on one of its country grounds. David Mcclure, Town & Country, "A Closer Look at Queen Elizabeth’s Most Elusive Estate: The Duchy of Lancaster," 26 Sep. 2020 The study looked at 12.5 million size and age measurements from chinook, coho, chum and sockeye, four of the five species of salmon that return to spawn in freshwater. Hal Bernton, Star Tribune, "Alaska salmon have gotten smaller in recent decades," 31 Oct. 2020 And the Tongass is full of animals, too, including five species of salmon, the densest populations of brown bears and bald eagles on the planet, the rare Alexander Archipelago Wolf (or Sea Wolf), orcas, humpback whales, otters, and much more. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "Trump Strips Protections from Tongass National Forest," 29 Oct. 2020 Investigators discovered traces of Covid-19 on a slab of salmon, as well as in a nearby ditch and elsewhere around the market, the government said. Jon Emont, WSJ, "China Wants to Screen You for Coronavirus—and Your Frozen Fish," 16 Oct. 2020

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

28 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Salmon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for salmon


How to pronounce Salmon (audio)

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

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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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