walrus

noun
wal·rus | \ ˈwȯl-rəs , 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 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 Conan Doyle, a Victorian dynamo with a walrus moustache and a passion for cricket and fair play, felt duty-bound to investigate. The Economist, "When Arthur Conan Doyle cried “J’Accuse…!”," 7 July 2018 Under federal law Alaska Natives can take walrus for subsistence hunting or for making art, as long as it isn't done wastefully, the filing said. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Fourth Brevig Mission man charged with waste in killing of 14 walrus," 6 July 2018 Native communities that rely on walrus hunting are seeing catches decline as sea ice disappears. New York Times, "‘Impossible to Ignore’: Why Alaska Is Crafting a Plan to Fight Climate Change," 15 May 2018 Male walruses traditionally spend summers in the Bering Sea near Bristol Bay about 120 miles north of Port Heiden. Washington Post, "Walrus surprise residents in remote Alaska village," 9 May 2018 The lack of sea ice is not just hitting walrus hunting hard; throughout the winter and spring, coastal communities have seen substantial flooding and erosion during storms without much of the usual sea ice to act as a buffer. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "Shock and Thaw—Alaskan Sea Ice Just Took a Steep, Unprecedented Dive," 2 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about walrus

Statistics for walrus

Last Updated

31 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for walrus

The first known use of walrus was in 1728

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for walrus

walrus

noun

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

walrus

noun
wal·rus | \ ˈwȯl-rəs \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!