tu·​na | \ ˈtü-nə How to pronounce tuna (audio) , ˈtyü- How to pronounce tuna (audio) \
plural tuna or tunas

Definition of tuna

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of numerous large vigorous scombroid food and sport fishes (such as an albacore or a bluefin tuna)
2 : the flesh of a tuna especially when canned for use as food

called also tuna fish

tu·​na | \ ˈtü-nə How to pronounce tuna (audio) \

Definition of tuna (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : any of various flat-jointed prickly pears (genus Opuntia) especially : one (O. tuna) of tropical America
2 : the edible fruit of a tuna

First Known Use of tuna

Noun (1)

1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tuna

Noun (1)

American Spanish, alteration of Spanish atún, modification of Arabic tūn, from Latin thunnus, from Greek thynnos

Noun (2)

Spanish, from Taino

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tuna

Time Traveler for tuna

Time Traveler

The first known use of tuna was circa 1555

See more words from the same year

Statistics for tuna

Cite this Entry

“Tuna.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tuna. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tuna

tuna

noun
tu·​na | \ ˈtü-nə How to pronounce tuna (audio) , ˈtyü- \
plural tuna or tunas

Kids Definition of tuna

: a large sea fish caught for food and sport

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tuna

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tuna

Spanish Central: Translation of tuna

Nglish: Translation of tuna for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tuna

Comments on tuna

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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