1. (Science: zoology) 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. In a more general sense, any species of the macruran tribe Caridea, or any species of the order schizopoda, having a similar form.
In a loose sense, any small crustacean, including some amphipods and even certain entomostracans; as, the fairy shrimp, and brine shrimp. See Fairy, and Brine.
2. Figuratively, a little wrinkled man; a dwarf; in contempt. This weak and writhled shrimp. (Shak) opossum shrimp.
The little tern (sterna minuta). Shrimp net, a dredge net fixed upon a pole, or a sweep net dragged over the fishing ground.
Origin: OE. Shrimp; probably so named from its shriveled appearance. See Shrimp.