from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various small, chiefly marine, often edible decapod crustaceans that have a laterally compressed, elongated body with long antennae and long legs used for swimming. The shrimps include species belonging to the superfamily Penaeoidea of the suborder Dendrobranchiata and to the infraorder Caridea of the suborder Pleocyemata.
  • noun The flesh of one of these crustaceans, used as food.
  • noun Any of various similar crustaceans, such as a fairy shrimp.
  • noun Derogatory Slang A person who is small in stature.
  • intransitive verb To fish for shrimp.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To contract; shrink.
  • To catch or fish for shrimps.
  • noun A salt-water long-tailed ten-footed crustacean of the family Crangonidæ, and especially of the genus Crangon.
  • noun A little wrinkled person; a dwarfish creature; a manikin: in contempt.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To contract; to shrink.
  • noun Any one of numerous species of macruran Crustacea belonging to Crangon and various allied genera, having a slender body and long legs. Many of them are used as food. The larger kinds are called also prawns. See Illust. of decapoda.
  • noun In a more general sense, any species of the macruran tribe Caridea, or any species of the order Schizopoda, having a similar form.
  • noun In a loose sense, any small crustacean, including some amphipods and even certain entomostracans. See under fairy, and brine.
  • noun Figuratively, a little wrinkled man; a dwarf; -- in contempt.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See under Opossum.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any slender amphipod crustacean of the genus Caprella and allied genera. See Illust. under Læmodopoda.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the little tern (Sterna minuta).
  • noun a dredge net fixed upon a pole, or a sweep net dragged over the fishing ground.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun any of many swimming, often edible crustaceans, with slender legs, long whiskers and long abdomens
  • noun uncountable the flesh of the crustaceans
  • noun slang a small, puny or unimportant person
  • verb intransitive to fish for shrimp

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb fish for shrimp
  • noun any of various edible decapod crustaceans
  • noun disparaging terms for small people
  • noun small slender-bodied chiefly marine decapod crustaceans with a long tail and single pair of pincers; many species are edible


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English shrimpe, possibly of Low German origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English schrimpe ‘shrimp, puny person’, from Proto-Germanic *skrimpaz (compare Middle High German schrimpf ‘scratch’, Norwegian skramp ‘thin horse, thin man’), from *skrimpanan (compare Old English scrimman ‘to shrink’, Middle High German schrimpfen ‘to shrink, dry up’, Swedish skrympa ‘to shrink’), from Proto-Indo-European *skremb, *skr̥mb (compare Lithuanian skrembti ‘to crust over, stiffen’).


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