wal·​rus ˈwȯl-rəs How to pronounce walrus (audio)
plural walrus or walruses
: 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).

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Howard reveals that he was once rescued from a shipwreck by a walrus called Mr. Tusk, and that's when the trouble really starts. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, 29 Sep. 2022 In other sculptures, bears and a walrus try their hand at drum dancing as well. Peter Saenger, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2022 Norway's beloved Freya the walrus could be put down for safety reasons, the country's Directorate of Fisheries warned Thursday. Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, 13 Aug. 2022 An Anchorage man was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to pay a $4,000 fine for illegally purchasing walrus tusks and head mounts during a sting operation. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Oct. 2022 Even fake walrus tusks and bones command top dollar. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, 30 Sep. 2022 Another walrus, nicknamed Wally, was seen last year on beaches and even a lifeboat dock in Wales and elsewhere. Michael Goldberg, USA TODAY, 18 Aug. 2022 Fame may be putting Norway's celebrity walrus at risk of death. Caroline Radnofsky, NBC News, 12 Aug. 2022 Other Arctic animals have also been spotted in Europe in recent years, according to the Natural History Museum, including a walrus nicknamed Wally. Ellen Francis, Washington Post, 10 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1728, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of walrus was in 1728

Dictionary Entries Near walrus

Cite this Entry

“Walrus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/walrus. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



wal·​rus ˈwȯl-rəs How to pronounce walrus (audio)
plural walrus or walruses
: a large mammal of cold northern seas that is related to the seals and has long ivory tusks, a tough wrinkled hide with a thick layer of blubber below, stiff whiskers, and flippers used in swimming, diving, and moving about on land

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