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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).
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for prawns
  • My guides had already procured a dish of small fish and fresh-water prawns.
  • Many have begun growing coffee or farming prawns, while others now work in textile plants or shoe factories.
  • We particularly enjoyed a lunch salad of prawns and greens served in a huge fried wonton with a lip-tinglingly spicy dressing.
  • Watery vegetables and tasteless industrial chicken or farmed prawns are propped up by it.
  • There are also brown prawns and white prawns and green prawns.
  • The newcomers, known as prawns and numbering millions, are fenced into a township and forced to scavenge.
  • Wandering round a supermarket-warm, gorgeously lit-corridors of open fridges full of tiger prawns and fillet steak.
  • After such a chase, females were less likely to eat the prawns again.
  • It was a crustacean, one of the earliest members of the group that includes crabs, prawns and lobsters.
  • There are also a lot of crustaceans, including prawns, living down there.
British Dictionary definitions for prawns


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 prawns



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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