shrimp [shrimp] ExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for shrimp on noun, plural shrimps, (especially collectively) shrimp for 1.

  1. any of several small, long-tailed, chiefly marine crustaceans of the decapod suborder Natania, certain species of which are used as food.
  2. Informal. a diminutive or insignificant person.

verb (used without object)

  1. to catch or try to catch shrimps.


  1. (of food) made with or containing shrimp: shrimp salad.
  2. of or relating to shrimp or their catching, processing, and marketing: a shrimp boat.

Origin of shrimp 1300–50; Middle English shrimpe crustacean, puny person; akin to Middle High German schrimpfen to contract, Old English scrimman to shrinkRelated formsshrimp·like, adjective Related Words for shrimp paltry, measly, inconsequential, tiny, frail, trivial, feeble, poor, limited, short, slight, meager, young, miniature, modest, cramped, microscopic, narrow, minuscule, small-scale Examples from the Web for shrimp Contemporary Examples of shrimp

  • Chicken satay and shrimp cocktail are also good options, as you can watch the skewers and tails stack up.

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    November 27, 2014

  • Salmon burgers and shrimp burgers are available, too, but they are no match for the crab.

    Become a Fried Seafood Believer at South Beach Market

    Jane & Michael Stern

    April 20, 2014

  • The cafeteria style stop is basically a comfort food joint—think baby back ribs, shrimp and grits, and gumbo—done well.

    Delayed? The Best Airport Restaurants to Eat at This Thanksgiving

    Brandy Zadrozny

    November 27, 2013

  • I plan to get shrimp as well as the catfish and also the roast beef.

    New Orleans Celebrates Its Favorite Sandwich at the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival

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    November 26, 2013

  • From 10, 20, 30 years of the shrimp boats doing this, the sharks will follow these boats for miles.

    Off the Hook: Eric Young’s Craziest Shark Catches (Video)

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    August 5, 2013

  • Historical Examples of shrimp

  • I helped her up on to this rock and baited her hook with shrimp.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • But, my dear Lawless, out of the host of servants at Heathfield, how do you know it was Shrimp who did it?

    Frank Fairlegh

    Frank E. Smedley

  • Some of the young ones, as joyful skippers, could have tired out a shrimp.

    A Jolly Fellowship

    Frank R. Stockton

  • “I hope we don’t have to have much to do with Shrimp,” muttered Noll Terry.

    Uncle Sam’s Boys in the Ranks

    H. Irving Hancock

  • For Shrimp had been tried by court-martial, three days before.

    Uncle Sam’s Boys in the Ranks

    H. Irving Hancock

  • British Dictionary definitions for shrimp shrimp noun

    1. any of various chiefly marine decapod crustaceans of the genus Crangon and related genera, having a slender flattened body with a long tail and a single pair of pincers
    2. any of various similar but unrelated crustaceans, such as the opossum shrimp and mantis shrimp
    3. Also called: freshwater shrimp any of various freshwater shrimplike amphipod crustaceans of the genus Gammarus, esp G. pulex
    4. Also called: sand shrimp any of various shrimplike amphipod crustaceans of the genus Gammarus, esp G. locustaSee also opossum shrimp
    5. informal a diminutive person, esp a child


    1. (intr) to fish for shrimps

    Derived Formsshrimper, nounWord Origin for shrimp C14: probably of Germanic origin; compare Middle Low German schrempen to shrink; see scrimp, crimp Word Origin and History for shrimp n.

    early 14c., “slender, edible marine crustacean,” probably from Old Norse skreppa “thin person,” from Proto-Germanic *skrimp- (see scrimp). Related to Old English scrimman “to shrink;” the connecting notion is probably “thinness” (cf. Danish dialectal skrimpe “thin cattle”). The meaning “puny person” in English is attested from late 14c.; an especially puny one might be a shrimplet (1680s).


    “fish for shrimp,” 1801 (implied in shrimping ), from shrimp (n.). Related: Shrimper (1808).

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