noun \ˈsti-kəl-ˌbak\
plural stick·le·backs also stick·le·back

Definition of STICKLEBACK

:  any of a family (Gasterosteidae) of small scaleless bony fishes having two or more free spines in front of the dorsal fin and including marine, anadromous, and freshwater forms


Middle English stykylbak, from Old English sticel goad + Middle English bak back; akin to Old English stician to stick
First Known Use: 15th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of about 12 species (family Gasterosteidae) of slender, scaleless fishes inhabiting temperate fresh and salt waters of the Northern Hemisphere. Sticklebacks grow to 6 in. (15 cm) long. They have a row of spines on the back, in front of a soft-rayed dorsal fin, and a sharp spine in each of the pelvic fins. They also have a slender tail base, a squared tail, and hard armour plates on their sides. The male builds a nest of plant materials and coaxes one or more females into it to lay eggs, fertilizes the eggs in the nest, and aggressively defends eggs and young.


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