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

Word History

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anemonefish was in 1930

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Cite this Entry

“Anemonefish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

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