shell·​fish | \ ˈshel-ˌfish How to pronounce shellfish (audio) \

Definition of shellfish

: 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

People can get sick by eating shellfish containing toxins produced by the algae and airborne HAB toxins may also cause breathing problems and, in some cases, trigger asthma attacks in susceptible individuals. Leada Gore |,, "All 21 of Mississippi beaches closed due to toxic algae," 7 July 2019 Most people become infected by eating raw or under cooked shellfish, particularly oysters. Lillian Reed,, "A mom said her son was infected with Vibrio bacteria in Ocean City. Here's how to avoid the same fate.," 5 July 2019 To lower one’s chances of contracting vibriosis, the CDC recommends not eating raw or undercooked shellfish and covering open wounds with waterproof bandages. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Warming Waters May Be Driving Flesh-Eating Bacteria to East Coast Beaches," 21 June 2019 The most common cause of infection is eating raw or undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Flesh-eating bacteria becoming more common in Delaware Bay due to climate change, study finds," 18 June 2019 One study published in 2018 in the journal Environmental Pollution concluded that people were more likely to ingest plastic through dust in their environment than by eating shellfish. National Geographic, "You eat thousands of bits of plastic every year," 5 June 2019 Generally, the oilier ocean fish (like salmon, mackerel, and sardines) tend to be higher in omega-3 while the milder fish and and shellfish are lower. Nutrition Diva Monica Reinagel, Scientific American, "Are Omega-3 Eggs as Good as Eating Fish?," 20 June 2019 The state also hosts the Urbanna Oyster Festival and the Chincoteague Island Oyster Roast, among other events honoring the shellfish. Rebecca Deczynski, Good Housekeeping, "50 American Food Facts You Didn't Know," 4 June 2019 The tender Manila clams, squid and shrimp in the spicy tofu-seafood stew kept more of their natural juiciness than usual, although very firm shellfish isn’t necessarily a defect in that dish. New York Times, "French Skills Meet Korean Flavors at Soogil in the East Village," 8 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of shellfish

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for shellfish

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for shellfish

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

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English Language Learners Definition of shellfish

: an animal (such as a crab or an oyster) that has a hard outer shell and that lives in water


shell·​fish | \ ˈshel-ˌfish How to pronounce shellfish (audio) \
plural shellfish

Kids Definition of shellfish

: an invertebrate animal (as a clam or lobster) that has a hard outer shell and lives in water

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More from Merriam-Webster on shellfish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shellfish

Spanish Central: Translation of shellfish

Nglish: Translation of shellfish for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about shellfish

Comments on shellfish

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