noun \tə-ˈlä-pē-ə, -ˈlā-\
plural ti·la·pia also ti·la·pias

Definition of TILAPIA

:  any of numerous African freshwater cichlid fishes (genera Oreochromis, Tilapia, and Sarotherodon) often raised for food

Origin of TILAPIA

New Latin, genus name
First Known Use: 1849


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of numerous, mostly freshwater, fish species (genus Tilapia, family Cichlidae), native to Africa. They resemble North American sunfishes; one species grows to 20 lbs (9 kg). Tilapia species are easy to raise and harvest for food; they grow rapidly, resist disease, and eat readily abundant algae and zooplankton. They have been used in warm-water aquaculture systems since the early Egyptian civilization and have been introduced into many freshwater habitats. See also cichlid.


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