noun \ˈēl\

: a long fish that looks like a snake and has smooth slippery skin

Full Definition of EEL

a :  any of numerous voracious elongate snakelike bony fishes (order Anguilliformes) that have a smooth slimy skin, lack pelvic fins, and have the median fins confluent around the tail — compare american eel
b :  any of numerous other elongate fishes (as of the order Synbranchiformes)
:  any of various nematodes (as the vinegar eel)
eel·like \ˈēl-ˌlīk\ adjective
eely \ˈē-lē\ adjective

Illustration of EEL

Origin of EEL

Middle English ele, from Old English ǣl; akin to Old High German āl eel
First Known Use: before 12th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of more than 790 fish species (order Anguilliformes) that are slender, elongated, and usually scaleless, with long dorsal and anal fins that are continuous around the tail tip. Eels are found in all seas, from coastal regions to the mid-depths. Freshwater eels are active, predaceous fish with small embedded scales; they grow to maturity in fresh water and return to the sea, where they spawn and die. The transparent young drift to the coast and make their way upstream. Freshwater eels, considered valuable food fish, include species ranging from 4 in. (10 cm) to about 11.5 ft (3.5 m) long. See also moray.


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