noun (often initial capital letter)
a legendary sea monster causing large whirlpools off the coast of Norway.

< Norwegian Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
kraken (ˈkrɑːkən)
a legendary sea monster of gigantic size believed to dwell off the coast of Norway
[C18: from Norwegian, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"monster of the North Sea," 1755, from Norw. dial. krake.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


a fabulous Scandinavian sea monster perhaps imagined on the basis of chance sightings of giant squids. It appears in literature in a poem of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's juvenilia called "The Kraken." Below the thunders of the upper deep,Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleepThe Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights fleeAbout his shadowy sides; above him swell Huge sponges of millenial growth and height;And far away into the sickly light,From many a wondrous grot and secret cell Unnumber'd and enormous polypiWinnow with giant arms the slumbering green.There hath he lain for ages, and will lieBattening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep, Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;Then once by man and angels to be seen,In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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