Definition of krill in English:



  • A small shrimp-like planktonic crustacean of the open seas. It is eaten by a number of larger animals, notably the baleen whales.

    • ‘But when the humpbacks are rounding up krill - small, shrimpy crustaceans - the net may be as small as five feet across.’
    • ‘Frazer determined that sea ice algae were the main food source of larval krill during winter.’
    • ‘Opportunistic feeders, they surface-feed, gulping small schooling fish, pelagic crabs, and swarms of krill when encountered.’
    • ‘Gómez-Gutiérrez said that he does not know how the parasites get inside the krill, but that once inside they eat all the krill's organs.’
    • ‘The underside of the ice acts like an upside-down coral reef, providing young krill both food and shelter.’
    • ‘The other birds forage at sea for fish, squid, and krill (small, shrimplike crustaceans).’
    • ‘Parliament's resolution said that seals and whales eat at least 5.5 million tons of fish and krill a year, double the tonnage caught by fishermen.’
    • ‘Masses of the parasite grow inside the krill, eat its organs, divide, and then burst out of their host's dead body in search of new victims.’
    • ‘They eat mostly krill - tiny shrimp-like organisms - and fish.’
    • ‘Female krill were later analyzed for ovarian physiological maturity.’
    • ‘But in years of no sea ice, what krill the researchers found were significantly larger.’
    • ‘The acid is found in organisms, including sardines and krill that eat the algae and that are in turn eaten by the squid.’
    • ‘Depending on the species, whales are either major consumers of plankton or krill or they are major predators, feeding on seals, fish, and penguins.’
    • ‘For example, during its primary feeding season the blue whale consumes upwards of 40 million krill each day in order to secure adequate nutrition.’
    • ‘In coastal areas during the non-breeding season, fish, krill and other marine creatures make up a large portion of their diet.’
    • ‘The baleen whales feed primarily on plankton and krill.’
    • ‘His work has focused on the whales' principal food, the inch-long, shrimplike marine animals known as krill.’
    • ‘Jimmy watches as the krill contracts violently, trying to escape the forceps as Simon plucks her from the net and drops her onto a petri dish.’
    • ‘If, however, they make the journey safely to the West coast of Greenland, they'll soon thrive on a rich diet of herring, eel and the shrimp-like krill.’
    • ‘The krill, in turn, are the Adelie penguins' primary food.’


Early 20th century: from Norwegian kril small fish fry.