Definition of nurse shark in English:

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nurse shark

Pronunciation: /ˈnərs ˌSHärk/


A shark with barbels on the snout.
  • Three species in the family Orectolobidae (or Ginglymostomatidae), in particular Ginglymostoma cirratum, a slow-swimming brownish shark of warm Atlantic waters.
Example sentences
  • The whale shark, the hammerhead and the nurse shark are impossible to confuse.
  • Normally calm species of sharks such as the nurse shark can be provoked to violence if they take a liking to your Starter Jacket.
  • Of particular concern is the grey nurse shark, a smaller, less predatory shark living off the coast of New South Wales and Queensland.


Mid 19th century: nurse 'dogfish shark', alteration of Middle English nusse, perhaps derived (by wrong division) from an huss (see Huss, John).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: nurse shark

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