sheeps·​head ˈshēps-ˌhed How to pronounce sheepshead (audio)
: a marine bony fish (Archosargus probatocephalus of the family Sparidae) of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the U.S. that has broad front teeth and is used for food
: a largely red or rose-colored wrasse (Semicossyphus pulcher) of the California coast

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The event will have German music; food, including a fish fry; live music; dancing; a sheepshead tournament and cultural dancers. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 May 2022 Their catch also included a trophy sheepshead, a couple of undersized walleye, bluegills and channel catfish. cleveland, 26 Aug. 2021 That came to mind when Faruq K. Abdul-Kahliq of the Cleveland Metroparks Youth Outdoors Program landed a hefty sheepshead, or freshwater drum, the other day and provided a photo of the lunker. cleveland, 2 Sep. 2021 Because the sheepshead's diet consists of mollusks and crustaceans, their molars assist in crushing their prey's tough shells. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Aug. 2021 Last week, an angler casting a line off Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina, caught a hefty and toothy nine-pound sheepshead fish (Archosargus probatocephalus). Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Aug. 2021 The sheepshead will then taper off, but then more Spanish, more pompano and specks will show up. Frank Sargeant, al, 4 Apr. 2021 The near-shore areas have been good, but fishermen have had to release a lot of sheepshead in order to put a six-fish limit of walleye in the cooler. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 3 June 2021 From the coast, the sheepshead spawn is slowing but there are still plenty of big ones hanging on the rigs and rocks in lower Mobile Bay—a shrimp on bottom gets them. Frank Sargeant, al, 16 Apr. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sheepshead was in 1643

Dictionary Entries Near sheepshead

Cite this Entry

“Sheepshead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


sheeps·​head ˈshēps-ˌhed How to pronounce sheepshead (audio)
: any of several fishes
especially : a food fish of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the U.S. with broad front teeth

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