\ ˈshrimp How to pronounce shrimp (audio) , especially Southern ˈsrimp \
plural shrimp or shrimps

Definition of shrimp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of numerous mostly small and marine decapod crustaceans (suborders Dendrobranchiata and Pleocyemata) having a slender elongated body, a compressed abdomen, and a long spiny rostrum and including some (especially family Penaeidae) that are commercially important as food also : a small crustacean (such as an amphipod or a branchiopod) resembling the true shrimp
2 usually disparaging : a very small or puny person or thing


shrimped; shrimping; shrimps

Definition of shrimp (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fish for or catch shrimp

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from shrimp


shrimplike \ ˈshrimp-​ˌlīk How to pronounce shrimp (audio) , ˈsrimp-​ \ adjective
shrimpy \ ˈshrim-​pē How to pronounce shrimp (audio) , ˈsrim-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for shrimp

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of shrimp in a Sentence

Noun He's a little shrimp of a boy. the boy was just a shrimp until his teens, when he had a growth spurt
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cicadas are ridiculously abundant and are said to taste not only like shrimp, but also like Gushers. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, 8 June 2021 Mesero is known for its shrimp ceviche, brisket tacos and margaritas. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, 8 June 2021 Southeast Alaska’s summer pot fishery for spot shrimp is pulling up the last of its 546,000 pound catch. Anchorage Daily News, 7 June 2021 Menus for these packages include appetizers like fresh crudite, antipasto platters, or ceviche, as well as shrimp or caprese skewers. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, 6 June 2021 Meanwhile Ned Baldwin, chef-owner of Houseman in New York City, shares a recipe for a cold shrimp salad influenced by his childhood in the Pacific Northwest. Dawn Davis, Bon Appétit, 3 June 2021 Nol’s parents sorted shrimp at the New England Seafood Company in Marlborough., 25 May 2021 Using shrimp trawlers, fishermen scoop up massive quantities of cannonballs. Mary Landers, USA TODAY, 25 May 2021 Barely a month old, the newborn Tasmanian devils discovered in an Australian wildlife preserve this week resemble tiny shrimp. Washington Post, 25 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The menu that finished with this dessert included eggplant quiche and a salad of mussels, shrimp, peas and saffron rice with a creamy cucumber sauce. New York Times, 2 June 2021 And there's a sauce for everyone's taste, from lemon garlic lobster to mango habanero steak and shrimp and chicken bacon ranch dishes. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, 27 May 2021 Signature dishes like the pork belly and shrimp and grits everyone raves about remain on the menu. Cheryl V. Jackson, The Indianapolis Star, 17 May 2021 Whether the gamefish were eating the mullet, or just following them to eat the crabs and shrimp their feeding stirs up from bottom, the tactic worked. Frank Sargeant, al, 9 May 2021 In 1981, the family upgraded to the 42-foot Alexandra, and Brad and Alex worked their way through college fishing for halibut, sea urchins, shrimp and herring. Anchorage Daily News, 9 May 2021 Remove from heat and toss with corn and cotija (shrimp shouldn’t be fully cooked). Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, 4 May 2021 The takeout package includes edamame, Asian noodle salad, shrimp and chicken basil with jasmine rice, chocolate flourless cake and a pineapple mimosa kit with Novecento sparkling wine. Audrey Eads, Dallas News, 29 Apr. 2021 Sesame joins the eight existing major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish (such as crab and shrimp), tree nuts (such as almonds and walnuts), peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, 26 Apr. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of shrimp


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shrimp


Middle English shrimpe; akin to Middle Low German schrempen to contract, wrinkle, Old Norse skorpna to shrivel up

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shrimp

Time Traveler for shrimp

Time Traveler

The first known use of shrimp was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for shrimp

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shrimp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shrimp



English Language Learners Definition of shrimp

: a small shellfish that has a long body and legs and that is eaten as food
informal : a very small or unimportant person


\ ˈshrimp How to pronounce shrimp (audio) \

Kids Definition of shrimp

1 : a small shellfish of the sea that is related to the crabs and lobsters and is often used for food
2 : a very small or unimportant person or thing


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!