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Shrimp (?), v. t. [Cf. AS. scrimman to dry up, wither, MHG. schrimpfen to shrink, G. schrumpfen, Dan. skrumpe, skrumpes, Da. & Sw. skrumpen shriveled. Cf. Scrimp, Shrink, Shrivel.] To contract; to shrink. [Obs.]
Shrimp, n. [OE. shrimp; -- probably so named from its shriveled appearance. See Shrimp, v.] 1. (Zo&ö;l.) (a) Any one of numerous species of macruran Crustacea belonging to Crangon and various allied genera, having a slender body and long legs. Many of them are used as food. The larger kinds are called also prawns. See Illust. of Decapoda. (b) In a more general sense, any species of the macruran tribe Caridea, or any species of the order Schizopoda, having a similar form. (c) In a loose sense, any small crustacean, including some amphipods and even certain entomostracans; as, the fairy shrimp, and brine shrimp. See under Fairy, and Brine.
2. Figuratively, a little wrinkled man; a dwarf; -- in contempt.
This weak and writhled shrimp. Shak.
Opossum shrimp. (Zo&ö;l.) See under Opossum. -- Spector shrimp, or Skeleton shrimp (Zo&ö;l.), any slender amphipod crustacean of the genus Caprella and allied genera. See Illust. under Læmodopoda. -- Shrimp catcher (Zo&ö;l.), the little tern (Sterna minuta). -- Shrimp net, a dredge net fixed upon a pole, or a sweep net dragged over the fishing ground.