\ 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 Ellie Krieger wrote about shrimp burgers that get a little jolt from kimchi and ginger. 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 As always, Winterbottom punctuates their antics with behind-the-scenes kitchen shots: pinky-white shrimp sizzle in a hot pan; a fancy something-or-other is set dramatically aflame before being plated. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Trip to Greece May Be More of the Same, But It's Just the Vacation We Need Right Now," 21 May 2020 This shrimp spread is a nice alternative to the usual dips found at parties and will never fail to please your guests and family. Heloise, Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: A versatile tool," 20 May 2020 The kit includes edamame, Asian noodle salad, basil chicken and shrimp with jasmine rice, chocolate flourless cake and pineapple mimosas. Serves four people. Audrey Eads, Dallas News, "D-FW restaurants offering takeout, dine-in meals for Mother’s Day," 4 May 2020 Shrimp scampi came out creamy and lithe, with fat coraled shrimp. Mike Sutter,, "Dining critic Mike Sutter on what it’s like to eat out on San Antonio restaurants’ reopening day, at Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano," 1 May 2020 Commercially prepared catfish baits available from tackle shops are popular, and in brackish water, menhaden, crabs, eels, and shrimp are good. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, "The Beginner’s Guide to Catching Your First Fish," 11 May 2020 Choose from the lineup of hearty breakfast platters, burgers and home-style dinners featuring chicken parmesan, turkey or fried shrimp. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Mother's Day: Here are 31 restaurants for takeout brunch and dinner in metro Phoenix," 5 May 2020 Specifically, a unique shrimp taco invented by Rodriguez’s late father. Priya Krishna, Condé Nast Traveler, "How a Family Taco Recipe Saved One Austin Food Business," 29 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The move resulted in new protections for nesting beaches in Texas and Mexico, and requirements that shrimp fisheries in the Gulf use excluder devices to prevent the reptiles from being captured in trawls. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 17 Apr. 2020 Mooney listened to shrimp snap their claws in the colder water of North Carolina and compared the rates of snapping to a similar species living in the warmer tropical waters around the US Virgin Islands. Eric Niiler, Wired, "The Sea Is Getting Warmer. Will the Shrimp Get Louder?," 28 Feb. 2020 In addition to the sushi rolls, the restaurant also serves a selection of seafood: ceviche tostadas, aguachiles and shrimp cocktail among them. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Best New Restaurant No. 5: Taqueria y Cenaduria Triángulo Dorado, Detroit," 14 Feb. 2020 The economy down there is heavily reliant on shrimping and oil. Rebecca Mccarthy, Longreads, "Climate Messaging: A Case for Negativity," 29 Sep. 2019 Not only are shrimps sometimes, well, shrimps that inconveniently fall through the grill grates, but a skewer is a perfect way to hold them both against doing that plus to their cooked and contracted state. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Shrimp is a natural for grilling," 17 July 2019 For cocktail hour, there were big harvest tables with Antipasto, crudites, and cheese boards as well as a raw bar with local oysters, local little neck clams, and shrimp cocktail. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "A Beach Wedding in the Rain: Celia Rowlson-Hall and Mia Lidofsky’s Magical North Fork Ceremony," 16 Jan. 2019 Fold in spinach and cook until just beginning to wilt and shrimp are opaque throughout, 1 to 2 minutes more. Redbook Test Kitchen, Redbook, "Garlicky Fiesta Shrimp," 20 Aug. 2018 The store's fishmongers can assist with anything from recipe suggestions to shrimp de-veining. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "Here's a sneak peek inside Whole Foods, uptown Charlotte's new grocery store," 11 June 2018

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

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shrimp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 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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