tar·​pon ˈtär-pən How to pronounce tarpon (audio)
plural tarpon or tarpons
: a large silvery elongate bony fish (Megalops atlanticus of the family Elopidae) that occurs especially in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and warm coastal waters of the Atlantic, reaches a length of about six feet (two meters), and is often caught for sport

Examples of tarpon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The aquamarine waters are considered some of the best for both sailing and tarpon fishing, and there's a good chance of spotting dolphins and sea turtles. Ana Pelayo Connery, Travel + Leisure, 17 Apr. 2023 Technically, a wayward tarpon caught far north of Florida isn’t exotic. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 20 Sep. 2023 Just a few weeks prior, a tarpon caught in the Massachusetts’s surf also made rounds in the media. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 20 Sep. 2023 Fishermen will feel at home here, with opportunities to catch everything from acrobatic tarpon to snapper or snook. 10 Cumberland Island, Georgia Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia’s largest barrier island, is full of untouched maritime forests, beaches, and marshes. Josh Laskin, Travel + Leisure, 1 Sep. 2023 Read Next: The Best Saltwater Fishing Rods For this reason, landing tarpon revolves around averages. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 24 Aug. 2023 The tarpon went on a few more short runs in the wash before Brings finally managed to pull it into the surf. Travis Hall, Field & Stream, 17 Aug. 2023 Keep an eye out for the tarpon that often jump and roll in the deep waters of Boca Grande Pass. Skye Sherman, Travel + Leisure, 22 Aug. 2023 The lightweight and unbelievably smooth-operating Saragosa is a top choice for the best saltwater spinning reel for everything from fluke and sea bass to corvina and halibut to redfish and sea trout, even school tuna and trophy tarpon—essentially most species around the world. Jerry Audet, Field & Stream, 19 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tarpon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1685, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tarpon was in 1685

Dictionary Entries Near tarpon

Cite this Entry

“Tarpon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tarpon. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


tar·​pon ˈtär-pən How to pronounce tarpon (audio)
plural tarpon or tarpons
: a large silvery sport fish found in the Gulf of Mexico and warm coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean

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