sar·​gas·​sum | \ sär-ˈga-səm How to pronounce sargassum (audio) \

Definition of sargassum

: any of a genus (Sargassum) of brown algae that have a branching thallus with lateral outgrowths differentiated as leafy segments, air bladders, or spore-bearing structures : gulfweed

Examples of sargassum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The system is so frail that a power plant recently went offline because sargassum — seaweed — blocked its filters. New York Times, 19 Oct. 2021 Seeing is believing Whenever the ship approached clumps of sargassum seaweed, the participants would stop their meetings and jump into zodiac boats with their snorkeling gear. Judith Magyar, Forbes, 24 May 2021 The Sargasso Sea is so named because of the mats of free-floating sargassum seaweed that grow there. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 May 2021 The algorithm picked out a sound within a dolphin pod that the researchers had earlier trained the dolphins to associate with sargassum seaweed—a clumpy, floaty plant that dolphins sometimes play with. Philip Ball, The New Yorker, 27 Apr. 2021 Low sargassum is expected for Mexico’s Caribbean beaches in the months of May through July, said Navy Minister Jose Rafael Ojeda. Lorena Rios, Dallas News, 1 June 2020 There are small schools of juvenile trigger and file fish, and other species darting around or just hiding within the sargassum. Arwa Damon, CNN, 19 Aug. 2019 Pszonowsky also said there haven’t been widespread reports of sargassum seaweed on beaches. USA TODAY, 6 Sep. 2019 Nutrient pollution could bolster competing species, like stringy sargassum, a nonnative macroalgae that Berry said has been found where South Puget Sound bull kelp beds once flourished. Evan Bush, The Seattle Times, 15 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sargassum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of sargassum

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sargassum

borrowed from New Latin, borrowed from Portuguese sargaço sargasso

Learn More About sargassum

Time Traveler for sargassum

Time Traveler

The first known use of sargassum was circa 1890

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near sargassum

Sargasso weed fish


Sargassum crab

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sargassum

Last Updated

2 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sargassum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on sargassum Encyclopedia article about sargassum


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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