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[kril] /krɪl/
noun, plural krill.
any of the small, pelagic, shrimplike crustaceans of the family Euphausiidae, eaten as food by certain whales.
Origin of krill
1905-10; < Norwegian kril young fry (of fish) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for krill
  • And overfishing of krill, a tiny crustacean that other marine life feed on, threatens the whole eco-system of the region.
  • More algae might mean more krill, and that might mean more whales and other large sea animals.
  • And higher on the food chain it is zooplankton, such as krill, that are feasted on by marine life ranging from fish to whales.
  • Here they fatten up on krill before heading north for the winter.
  • They use their baleen to filter tiny plankton and shrimplike krill out of the water.
  • But in years of no sea ice, what krill the researchers found were significantly larger.
  • Other organisms affected by temperature change include krill, an extremely important link at the base of the food chain.
  • Less ice means easier penguin access to the krill, the tiny water creatures that are their main source of food.
  • Whole frozen krill will be purchased and the lipids extracted.
  • The plates are rough enough to filter prey such as krill.
British Dictionary definitions for krill


noun (pl) krill
any small shrimplike marine crustacean of the order Euphausiacea: the principal food of whalebone whales
Word Origin
C20: from Norwegian kril young fish
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 krill

1907, from Norwegian kril "small fry of fish."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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krill in Science
Small crustaceans that float in the ocean in huge numbers and are one of the most important parts of zooplankton. Krill are the main food of baleen whales.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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