Dictionary

piranha

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

piranha

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

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: Pirani gaugePrevious Word in the Dictionary: PirangaAll Words Near: piranha
July 06, 2015
categorical Hear it
absolute or relating to a category
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears