\ ˈtrȯl How to pronounce trawl (audio) \
trawled; trawling; trawls

Definition of trawl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to fish with a trawl
b : to make a search as if by trawling

transitive verb

: to catch (fish) with a trawl



Definition of trawl (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a large conical net dragged along the sea bottom in gathering fish or other marine life
2 : setline

Examples of trawl in a Sentence

Verb The boat trawled far out at sea. a fishing boat trawling the ocean floor He trawled the Internet looking for websites on growing grapes. She was trawling through old letters for information about her family.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This eliminates a now historical problem of having to trawl through showrooms with no real concept of what your future home may look like with your new find in it. Anthony Wong, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 Oz descended from carefree heights of wealth and celebrity to trawl around Pennsylvania and get mocked and abused at every turn. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 18 Aug. 2022 The brothers coded algorithms to trawl data from the Federal Reserve. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 Soldiers confiscate workers’ phones, trawl through text messages and social-media feeds, and check to see whose language settings are saved to Ukrainian rather than Russian—seen as evidence of nationalist sentiment. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, 17 June 2022 Nation-states, for-profit cybercrime syndicates, political activists, and determined pranksters trawl the web every hour of every day, looking for their next victim. Chuck Brooks, Forbes, 3 June 2022 According to the Washington Post, the paper’s online unit has dozens of contracts to trawl foreign social media and produce reports for Chinese police units, judicial authorities, and agencies linked to the Party. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 6 Apr. 2022 Alaska pollock, the nation’s largest food fishery, opens to trawl fishing on Jan. 20. Laine Welch | Fish Factor, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Jan. 2022 Fishermen took the hit last week, deciding not to trawl the waters off Italy, with fishing boats along the entire peninsula moored in port. Colleen Barry, ajc, 13 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Under the glare of the deck lights, the researchers unload a 30-foot trawl to add to their growing pile of fishes, sea stars, marine worms, octopuses and all other manner of undersea creatures. Melina Walling, The Arizona Republic, 11 June 2022 Or moving trawl gear off the bottom could increase salmon bycatch. Yereth Rosen, Anchorage Daily News, 15 June 2022 Data from its 2021 work indicate alewife were at 22% of the long-term mean, according to the bottom trawl, and 80% of the long-term mean of the acoustic. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 8 June 2022 To feed captive populations, farms often catch wild stocks with huge trawl nets that also capture anything within reach. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, 22 Apr. 2022 Back then, fishing fleets from Japan, Russia and Korea dominated the Bering Sea trawl harvests. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Oct. 2021 There is no denying that the trawl sector bears the brunt of the bycatch burden. Laine Welch | Fish Factor, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Mar. 2022 Northwest Fisheries Science Center showed that LEDs are very effective in directing chinook salmon to escape windows in trawl nets targeting Pacific hake, the largest groundfish fishery on the West Coast. Lynne Curry, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Dec. 2021 And after five years of talk, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council could tap the brakes on halibut taken as bycatch by 18 Bering Sea trawl catcher/processors that target flounders, perch and mackerel. Anchorage Daily News, 13 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trawl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of trawl


1561, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


1759, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for trawl


probably from obsolete Dutch tragelen

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Last Updated

1 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trawl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for trawl


\ ˈtrȯl How to pronounce trawl (audio) \
trawled; trawling

Kids Definition of trawl

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to fish or catch with a large net dragged along the sea bottom



Kids Definition of trawl (Entry 2 of 2)

: a large net in the shape of a cone dragged along the sea bottom in fishing

More from Merriam-Webster on trawl

Nglish: Translation of trawl for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about trawl


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