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From French requin (shark); see below.


requin (plural requins)

  1. (dated) The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias).
    • 1893, Rev. H. J. Foster, “Jonah”, in The Thinker, volume 9, page 124:
      The big gullet of the requin shark, for example, could do so. It has been killed with men inside whole.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for requin in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913)




1539;[1] Normand reflex of Old French reschin (12th c.), deverbal of reschignier (to grimace while baring teeth), rekigner (to make an ugly face),[2][3] from Frankish *kīnan (to split open).


  • IPA(key): /ʁə.kɛ̃/
  • (file)


requin m (plural requins)

  1. shark
    Synonym: squale
    • 1968, “Bébé requin”, in 1968, performed by France Gall:
      Je suis un bébé requin / Au ventre blanc, aux dents nacrées / Dans les eaux chaudes, je t'entraînerai
      I'm a baby shark / White-bellied, pearl-toothed / In warm waters I will drag you
  2. (derogatory) a person profiting from others by treachery

Derived terms[edit]


  • English: requin
  • Romanian: rechin
  • Polish: rekin


  1. ^ Paul Imbs & Bernard Quemada, eds., Trésor de la langue française: Dictionnaire de la langue du XIXe et du XXe siècle (1789-1960), s.v. “requin” (Paris: CNRS/Gallimard, 1971–1994).
  2. ^ Albert Deshayes, Dictionnaire étymologique du breton (Douarnenez: Le Chasse-Marée, 2003), 620.
  3. ^ Alain Rey, ed., Dictionnaire historique de la langue française, 2nd edn. (Paris: Le Robert, 1998), 3:8203–4.

Further reading[edit]