tar·​pon | \ ˈtär-pən How to pronounce tarpon (audio) \
plural tarpon or tarpons

Definition of tarpon

: 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 Babe Ruth is ailing and crippled, yet still cruising sand flats grown lonely of tarpon. Richard Adams Carey, WSJ, "‘Lords of the Fly’ Review: Long Live the Silver King!," 2 Oct. 2020 At Pelican Island, find more than 140 species of birds (including the refuge’s namesake) as well as over 200 species of fish — including smalltooth sawfish sturgeon, pipefish, goby, tarpon, flounder, ladyfish, mackerel, bluefish, American eel. Kathleen Christiansen, orlandosentinel.com, "National Wildlife Day: 7 places to appreciate animals in Florida," 4 Sep. 2020 On land, head to Robbie’s in Islamorada to hand-feed massive tarpon, or dig into a fresh mahi sandwich. Skye Sherman, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Girlfriend Getaways Around the World for a Weekend Escape," 29 Aug. 2020 Memberships were extended through the end of the year and a raffle is underway with a limit of 500 tickets for $100 each to win chances at prizes from coolers to a Florida tarpon trip and a $10,000 driftboat. oregonlive, "Bill Monroe: Fishing, hunting groups get creative amid coronavirus pandemic," 14 Aug. 2020 Research has shown that a significant source of postrelease mortality in tarpon and bonefish is shark predation. Popular Science, "Releasing a caught fish isn’t as simple as tossing it overboard," 11 Feb. 2020 For many Atlantic and Gulf Coast anglers, large live menhaden (also referred to as bunker or pogies) are premier baits for tarpon, king mackerel, cobia, striped bass, bluefish, and more. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, "The Ultimate Guide to Catching and Keeping Saltwater Live Bait," 2 Jan. 2020 To some of them, by no means all, the experience of a salmon running in fast water or a tarpon leaping higher than is possible to imagine is old hat; whereas to the angler, the experience is fresh and urgent. Keith Mccafferty, Field & Stream, "The Company of Stars," 3 Mar. 2020 Florida law also forbids anglers from removing tarpon over 40 inches from the water. Popular Science, "Releasing a caught fish isn’t as simple as tossing it overboard," 11 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tarpon.' 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 tarpon

1685, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tarpon

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tarpon

Time Traveler for tarpon

Time Traveler

The first known use of tarpon was in 1685

See more words from the same year

Statistics for tarpon

Last Updated

10 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tarpon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tarpon. Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on tarpon

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tarpon

Comments on tarpon

What made you want to look up tarpon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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