- any large, brown, cold-water seaweed of the family Laminariaceae, used as food and in various manufacturing processes.
- a bed or mass of such seaweeds.
- the ash of these seaweeds.
verb (used without object)
- to burn these seaweeds for their ash.
- any large brown seaweed, esp any in the order Laminariales
- the ash of such seaweed, used as a source of iodine and potash
1660s, from Middle English culpe (late 14c.), of unknown origin. Kelper “native or inhabitant of the Falkland Islands” is attested from 1960.
- Any of various brown, often very large seaweeds that grow in colder ocean regions. Kelps are varieties of brown algae of the order Laminariales, with some species growing over 61 m (200 ft) long. Kelps are harvested as food (primarily in eastern Asia), as fertilizer, and for their sodium and potassium salts, used in industrial processes. Kelps are also a source of thickening agents and colloid stabilizers used in many commercial products. See more at brown alga.