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

Examples of sea otter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Start your day by hanging out with the southern sea otters and seahorses, then expand your horizons at the Gulf of Mexico tank, which is 17 feet deep, filled with 400,000 gallons of salt water, and home to stingrays, sharks, sea turtles, and more. Travel + Leisure Editors, Travel + Leisure, 1 Apr. 2024 Eventually, people became interested in sea otter conservation. Will Sullivan, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Feb. 2024 Centuries ago, the waters off California’s coast were teeming with sea otters, but their numbers diminished greatly in the 1700s and 1800s due to the maritime fur trade. Jerry Rice, Orange County Register, 25 Feb. 2024 Earlier this week, the animal, who has yet to be named, was introduced to the sea otter exhibit in the Abbott Oceanarium at the Shedd Aquarium in Illinois, according to a news release. Nicholas Rice, Peoplemag, 17 Feb. 2024 In the absence of sea otters, the crabs have been living in the Elkhorn Slough estuary without its main predator around, Hughes said. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 31 Jan. 2024 Monterey Bay Aquarium, California The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California allows individuals to explore the depths of the marine world with exhibits showcasing jellyfish, sea otters, sharks and a wide range of aquatic species. Maeghan Dolph, Fox News, 6 Jan. 2024 And if sea otters were to suffer such losses, that would endanger the health of California’s vast kelp forests, which would be left prey to sea urchins, said Christine Johnson, professor of epidemiology and ecosystem health at UC Davis. Susanne Rust, Los Angeles Times, 25 Feb. 2024 The group estimates that Morro Bay’s harbor is home to 30-50 sea otters, mostly females of reproductive age. Jerry Rice, Orange County Register, 25 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sea otter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Apr. 2024.

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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