anem·​o·​ne·​fish | \ ə-ˈne-mə-nē-ˌfish How to pronounce anemonefish (audio) \
variants: or anemone fish

Definition of anemonefish

: clown fish Among scientists and aquarists, clownfish are also known as anemonefish because they can't survive without a host anemone, whose stinging tentacles protect them and their developing eggs from intruders.— James Prosek, National Geographic, January 2010 Dozens of members of the large tropical family of damselfish, or demoiselles, live on the Great Barrier Reef. They include several species of anemone fish, which grow to about 12 centimetres and are usually orange, with one or more broad vertical white stripes.— Nick Drayson, Australian Geographic, July–September 1990

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of anemonefish

1930, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about anemonefish

Statistics for anemonefish

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for anemonefish

The first known use of anemonefish was in 1930

See more words from the same year

Comments on anemonefish

What made you want to look up anemonefish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!