Definition of tarpon in US English:



  • A large tropical marine fish of herring-like appearance.

    Two species in the family Megalopidae: Tarpon atlanticus, a prized Atlantic game fish, and Megalops cyprinoides of the Indo-Pacific

    • ‘Newspaper reports and pictures indicated an angler took an adult tarpon while surf casting at Montauk Point on 17 August 1997.’
    • ‘That same morning, I was fighting a leaping tarpon on a tropical flat in southern Belize.’
    • ‘Biologists also are in varying stages of research and replenishment of cobia, speckled trout, tarpon, snook, crappie, bluegill and striped bass stocks.’
    • ‘There are also, in separate sections, adult turtles and big fish like jewfish, tarpon, snook and stingrays.’
    • ‘Among these clades are such diverse forms as arawanas, knifefishes, mormyrids, eels, tarpon, and herring.’


Late 17th century: probably from Dutch tarpoen, perhaps from a Central American language.