sea otter


: a rare marine otter (Enhydra lutris) of the northern Pacific coasts that may attain a length of six feet (two meters), is chiefly brown but with lighter coloration on the back of the head and neck, and feeds largely on shellfish

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Aquarium of the Pacific is thanking Betty the sea otter for being a friend. Melissa Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2022 The sea otter was found without his mother April 12 and was estimated by experts to be 3 weeks old, according to a news release. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2022 While the southern sea otter captures the attention of younger visitors, the symbol of the aquarium is another Monterey Bay icon: a whorl of kelp. Andrew Robinson, Scientific American, 21 July 2022 The typical life span of a southern sea otter is between 15 and 20 years in the wild and can be longer for otters raised in captivity. Melissa Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2022 But as the sea otter population rebounded there in the early 2000s, so did the seagrass. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 May 2022 If your partner asks you to turn back because a sea otter gave him a snarky look, do it. Caroline Van Hemert, Outside Online, 20 Apr. 2020 Atolla reynoldsi was named for Jeff Reynolds, one of the first volunteers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium who helped with important initiatives like its sea otter pup rescue program. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Apr. 2022 Here, a sea otter is seen using a rock to shake an abalone shell loose for a quick snack. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1664, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sea otter was in 1664

Dictionary Entries Near sea otter

Cite this Entry

“Sea otter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

sea otter

: a large marine otter of northern Pacific coasts that feeds mostly on shellfish (as clams, crabs, and sea urchins) and can grow to nearly six feet (two meters) in length

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