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[prawn] /prɔn/
any of various shrimplike decapod crustaceans of the genera Palaemon, Penaeus, etc., certain of which are used as food.
verb (used with object)
to catch prawns, as for food.
come the raw prawn, Australian Slang. to try to impose on or deceive someone (followed by with).
Origin of prawn
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English prane, of uncertain origin
Related forms
prawner, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prawn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The English lobster is a species, our cray fish is another, our prawn is another.

    On the Study of Zoology Thomas H. Huxley
  • The prawn has never been tried on the Shuswap Lake; it might be worth a trial.

    Fishing in British Columbia Thomas Wilson Lambert
  • Like most other kinds of crustacea, the prawn is much larger in tropical climates.

    The Ocean World: Louis Figuier
  • But for a prawn curry there is no place like the City of Palaces.

    Cakes & Ale Edward Spencer
  • Figs. 37 and 38 represent two stages in the development of the prawn.

  • He stripped the clothes from each like a man strips the scales from a prawn with one quick twirl of his fingers.

    The Adventures of Ulysses the Wanderer Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • To tell a live Shrimp from a prawn, look at the long pointed beak which juts out from the front of the head.

    On the Seashore

    R. Cadwallader Smith
British Dictionary definitions for prawn


any of various small edible marine decapod crustaceans of the genera Palaemon, Penaeus, etc, having a slender flattened body with a long tail and two pairs of pincers
(Austral, informal) come the raw prawn, to attempt deception
Derived Forms
prawner, noun
Word Origin
C15: of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prawn

early 15c., prayne, of unknown origin. "No similar name found in other langs." [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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