shell·​fish ˈshel-ˌfish How to pronounce shellfish (audio)
: an aquatic invertebrate animal with a shell
especially : an edible mollusk or crustacean

Examples of shellfish in a Sentence

lobsters, crabs, and other shellfish
Recent Examples on the Web As filter feeders, oysters remove algae and excess nutrients from the water, their beds support a variety of marine life including fish and fellow shellfish. Baltimore Sun Editorial Board, Baltimore Sun, 17 Jan. 2024 With a light bite station of shellfish, tacos, pizza and more instead of seated dinner, cozy couches instead of traditional seating options, and some incredible DJs on the 1s and 2s, including DJ D-Nice and DJ Jaycee, this was the ultimate fête, from start to finish. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 11 Jan. 2024 Penny will serve crudo, oysters, and cooked shellfish. Kate Kassin, Bon Appétit, 17 Jan. 2024 Invertebrates and smaller shellfish, such as worms, nymphs, dragonfly larvae, and fingernail clams, are also on the menu. M.d. Johnson, Field & Stream, 10 Jan. 2024 Other major allergens affecting millions of Americans include milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans and sesame. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, 10 Jan. 2024 While small prey like rabbits, birds and shellfish may not return as many calories per animal as larger prey, these creatures are typically easier to acquire and more reliable to access at different times of year. Ryan McRae, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Dec. 2023 Spend your days wandering uber-cool neighborhoods like Bairro Alto, Príncipe Real, and Cais do Sodré, and your nights feasting on seafood and shellfish, before toasting with the sour-cherry liqueur ginjinha. Juliet Izon, Glamour, 5 Dec. 2023 It can also be detected in animal products treated with some veterinary drugs or shellfish, which aggregate arsenic from seawater. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shellfish.' 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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shellfish was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near shellfish

Cite this Entry

“Shellfish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


shell·​fish ˈshel-ˌfish How to pronounce shellfish (audio)
: an invertebrate animal that lives in water and has a shell
especially : an edible mollusk (as an oyster) or crustacean (as a crab)

More from Merriam-Webster on shellfish

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