noun pi·ra·nha \pə-ˈrä-nə; -ˈrän-yə, -ˈran-\

: a small South American fish that has sharp teeth and that eats the flesh of animals

plural pi·ra·nhas or piranha

Full Definition of PIRANHA

:  any of various usually small South American characin fishes (genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus) that have very sharp teeth, often appear in schools, and include some that may attack and inflict dangerous wounds upon humans and large animals —called also caribe

Origin of PIRANHA

Portuguese, from Tupi pirã́ja, pirã́nʸa, from pirá fish + ã́ja, ã́nʸa tooth
First Known Use: 1861

Other Fishes Terms

char, chum, ichthyology, smelt, tetra, turbot
PIRANHA Defined for Kids


noun pi·ra·nha \pə-ˈrä-nə\

Definition of PIRANHA for Kids

:  a small South American freshwater fish that has very sharp teeth, often occurs in groups, and may attack human beings and animals in the water


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