- any of various shrimplike decapod crustaceans of the genera Palaemon, Penaeus, etc., certain of which are used as food.
- 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
1400–50; late Middle English prane, of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for prawn
PRAWN COCKTAILThis is also delicious if you replace the shrimp with smoked salmon or cooked crab.That '70s Food
April 22, 2011
Similar in appearance and often used synonymously—and erroneously—the shrimp and the prawn are two different creatures.Four Things You Didn't Know About Shrimp
June 24, 2009
After a lunch of prawn curry and rice at the Bunder, you may want to visit the Lighthouse Hill and its vicinity.An Excerpt from Between the Assassinations
June 10, 2009
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:
But for a prawn curry there is no place like the City of Palaces.Cakes & Ale
Figs. 37 and 38 represent two stages in the development of the prawn.On the Origin and Metamorphoses of Insects</p>
Sir John Lubbock
- 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
- come the raw prawn Australian informal to attempt deception
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
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