\ 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

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Other Words from shrimp


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for shrimp

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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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 Mr Claws offers shrimp, snow crab, king crab, crawfish, mussels and lobster tails with a choice of three seasonings and spice levels. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, "Here are 7 new restaurants to try in Mesa: Someburros, Cha Tea, H Mart's Market Eatery," 12 July 2020 The virus tested positive on both the inside and outside of the shrimp packaging, said China’s General Administration of Customs. Fortune, "China flags another imported food as possible COVID-19 carrier," 10 July 2020 Winery is an Italian restaurant serving classic dishes with a few original menu items mixed in, including New Orleans BBQ shrimp. Mary Grace Granados, Dallas News, "Locally owned restaurants to support in Grapevine during the COVID-19 outbreak," 9 July 2020 This pressure cooker shrimp and veggie curry recipe gets some nice heat from red curry paste and is balanced out by cooling coconut milk. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "10 Delicious Instant Pot Fish Recipes for Any Night of the Week," 9 July 2020 Let the shrimp marinate for 10 to 15 minutes and then serve., "Recipe: Baja Shrimp Aguachile," 2 July 2020 The company held a free prom-like banquet at a country club for employees in January, giving workers and a guest a chance to dress up and enjoy an extravagant party with colleagues, complete with shrimp cocktail and a carving station. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "Anderson-Dubose Co. throws prom-like banquet: Top Workplaces 2020 first-place winner," 28 June 2020 The straight blades typically range from two to four inches and are ideal for more delicate slicing, deveining shrimp, trimming and cutting fruit into different shapes. NBC News, "Best kitchen knives and how to buy them, according to experts," 24 June 2020 The shrimp feed on zooplankton that help improve the lake’s clarity. Gregory Thomas,, "Lake Tahoe’s famous clarity is fading, report finds," 11 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Menu highlights include the lobster boil with two whole lobster, shrimp, clams, sausage, potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and rolls. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Popular lobster shack returns to Birmingham restaurant for the summer," 1 July 2020 These management moves, as well as the addition of bycatch reduction devices to shrimp trawls and the overall decline of the Gulf shrimping industry, have been the keys to a successful red snapper rebuild. Matt Wyatt,, "Red snapper: A conservation success story," 27 June 2020 That means a tight menu of small bites and sides including fish and shrimp tacos, guacamole with yucca fries, an octopus-chorizo plate and other dishes from throughout Central and South America. oregonlive, "Oregon’s mobile piña colada king is opening a new cocktail bar in Northeast Portland," 25 June 2020 According to the press release, appetizers available include caprese salad skewers, shrimp cocktail and blackened steak tips with wild mushroom demi-glaze. Emma Dale, Detroit Free Press, "Meeting House Grand Ballroom to cater events off-site amid COVID-19 pandemic," 18 June 2020 Consider steak and portobello hash ($17), a chile en nogada omelet ($16) and shrimp and grits ($14.50). Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Father's Day 2020: 48 metro Phoenix restaurants with special deals for dine-in and takeout," 15 June 2020 Newport prides itself on its Dungeness crab and shrimp exports, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium draws thousands of visitors every year. oregonlive, "In the coastal town of Newport, a coronavirus outbreak spreads to local economy," 11 June 2020 In some lakes and rivers, catfish are drawn to lights shining down from docks, bridges, and channel markers that attract minnows, shrimp, and other forage. Popular Science, "A beginner’s guide to freshwater fishing," 1 June 2020 Ann wrote about the broiler as your best path to shrimp nirvana. The Washington Post, "Free Range on Food: We're here to answer all your cooking questions and what to do with sourdough discard, bread baking, this week's recipes and more!," 27 May 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for shrimp

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for shrimp

Last Updated

16 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shrimp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for shrimp


How to pronounce shrimp (audio)

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

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