\ 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 shrimp (audio) , ˈsrimp-​ \ adjective
shrimpy \ ˈshrim-​pē How to pronounce shrimp (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 In each sample, there can be tiny shrimp, water fleas, dragonfly larvae, snails and a variety of aquatic bugs. Ian James,, 8 Sep. 2021 Sautéed shrimp with scallions and bacon over a bowl of creamy grits. Sue Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 2 Sep. 2021 The signature here, of course, is char kuey teow, where wide rice noodles are stir-fried with Chinese sausage, shrimp, Manila clam, crispy pork, and eggs. Christina Liao, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 Carolina white shrimp, anointed with the lightest of barbecue sauces and splayed over a bed of summer-fine sweet corn and sugar snap peas, slips fine-dining into time at the beach. Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2021 Their friends at Anchored Shrimp Company in Brunswick had just pulled in some of the last of the season’s sweet, white Georgia shrimp. New York Times, 23 Aug. 2021 The belief is the quaggas are providing an abundant, high protein food source to compliment other forage like redswamp crawfish and grass shrimp. Matt Williams, Dallas News, 22 May 2021 That means shrimp and oysters harvested from the bay, as well as local pork and native Virginia fruits and vegetables. Arkansas Online, 26 Aug. 2021 Look for tastes of the full menu on weekend specials, including shrimp and grits or chicken and waffles. Louisa Chu,, 24 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Brad salivates over Lucinda over a toast, chorizo, and shrimp appetizer. Charlotte Walsh, Vulture, 10 July 2021 Its dark wood interior feels like a bona fide Wisconsin supper club, those old-fashioned taverns that are ubiquitous in the Midwest, and the pot pies, shrimp cocktails and wedge salads on the tabletops really cement that impression. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 June 2021 The menu also includes lamb vindaloo and shrimp curry. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, 1 Apr. 2021 It’s the perfect accompaniment to, say, shrimp and crawfish – which is why the company offers its own seafood boil spice mix. Michelle Matthews |, al, 25 Aug. 2021 Each day of the experiment, the prawn and shrimp feeding spots moved around. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 17 Aug. 2021 La Cathedral is octopus imported from Mexico, fried and served with housemade orange and black salsa, mango, avocado, scallops, shrimp and tuna. Sofia Krusmark, The Arizona Republic, 29 July 2021 There is no better combination than sweat and shrimp, and Papa Roach was living proof. Tom Scharpling, Vulture, 12 July 2021 Serve shrimp in lettuce and top with cucumbers, radishes, mint and basil. Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, 4 Aug. 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.

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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

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shrimp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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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
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on shrimp

Nglish: Translation of shrimp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shrimp for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about shrimp


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