Definition of grunion in English:


Line breaks: grun|ion
Pronunciation: /ˈɡrʌnjən


A small, slender Californian fish that swarms on to beaches at night to spawn. The eggs are buried in the sand and the young fish are swept out to sea on the following spring tide.
  • Leuresthes tenuis, family Atherinidae
More example sentences
  • Barracuda eat squid and small fish such as sardines, anchovies, young mackerels and grunions.
  • This could also affect fish like the grunion, which spawn according to tidal changes.
  • A similar set of tradeoffs may explain why surf smelt, which spawn in fine gravel, can spawn successfully lower in the intertidal zone than grunion, spawning in sand.


early 20th century: probably from Spanish gruñón 'grunter'.

Definition of grunion in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day anomalous
Pronunciation: əˈnɒm(ə)ləs
deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected