wal·​rus | \ ˈwȯl-rəs How to pronounce walrus (audio) , ˈwäl-\
plural walrus or walruses

Definition of walrus

: a large gregarious marine mammal (Odobenus rosmarus of the family Odobenidae) of arctic waters related to the seals that has limbs modified into webbed flippers, long ivory tusks, a tough wrinkled hide, stiff whiskers, and a thick layer of blubber

Note: The male walrus may reach a weight of over 3700 pounds (1678 kilograms). Walrus typically inhabit moving pack ice and usually feed on organisms (such as clams and mussels) living on or near the ocean's bottom. Walrus of the northern Atlantic are considered a separate subspecies (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from the somewhat larger northern Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

Examples of walrus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The leading theory about their origin is that they were carved — most from walrus tusk — in the late 12th or early 13th century in Trondheim, Norway, Sotheby’s said in a press release. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Mom thought the $6 knickknack might be magic. She wasn’t far off.," 3 June 2019 Last year, federal authorities prosecuted four other men in a different case involving wasteful killing of walrus in 2015, this time at Cape Lisburne in Northwest Alaska. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Fourth Brevig Mission man charged with waste in killing of 14 walrus," 6 July 2018 These calamities undermined demand for walrus ivory, said Barrett. Christina Larson, The Seattle Times, "Walrus bones provide clues to fate of lost Viking colony," 7 Aug. 2018 The changes in the sea ice has begun to affect the migration patterns in animals such as whales, seals, and walruses that many Arctic people rely on for survival. Maka Monture, Teen Vogue, "The Arctic Youth Ambassadors Program Is Bringing Awareness to Environmental and Community Issues in Alaska," 24 Sep. 2018 Among them: Ivory tusks, nearly 25 scrimshawed whale teeth, and two mounted walrus skulls, a store employee told the Anchorage Daily News on Saturday. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "APD: Suspect in Native art theft arrested with tusk in car," 9 Apr. 2018 The area also hosts one of the world’s major marine migrations of bowhead and beluga whales, Pacific walruses, and ice seals, as well as vast populations of seabirds. Margaret Kriz Hobson, Scientific American, "Amid Ice Melt, New Shipping Lanes Are Drawn Up off Alaska," 29 May 2018 Polar bears might be the least vulnerable, with four other important species—bearded seals, walruses, bowhead whales and ringed seals—probably falling somewhere in the middle. Adam Aton, Scientific American, "Ships Threaten Arctic Marine Mammals," 3 July 2018 In Bethel and the nearby villages, life revolved around the season: walrus and wild greens, salmon and seal, all kinds of birds and berries. Lisa Demer, Anchorage Daily News, "Life in Bethel: Richness and despair, sometimes all in a single day," 10 Feb. 2018

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

1728, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for walrus

Dutch, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish & Norwegian hvalros walrus, Old Norse rosmhvalr

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Statistics for walrus

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for walrus

The first known use of walrus was in 1728

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English Language Learners Definition of walrus

: a large animal that lives on land and in the sea in northern regions and that has flippers and long tusks


wal·​rus | \ ˈwȯl-rəs How to pronounce walrus (audio) \

Kids Definition of walrus

: a large animal of northern seas that is related to the seal and has long ivory tusks, a tough wrinkled hide, and flippers used in swimming, diving, and moving about on land

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More from Merriam-Webster on walrus

Spanish Central: Translation of walrus

Nglish: Translation of walrus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of walrus for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about walrus

Comments on walrus

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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