an·​gel·​fish ˈān-jəl-ˌfish How to pronounce angelfish (audio)
: any of several laterally compressed brightly colored bony fishes (family Pomacanthidae) of warm seas
: a black and silver laterally compressed South American cichlid fish (Pterophyllum scalare) popular in aquariums

called also scalare

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Two flat black-and-yellow-striped angelfish nosily darted around the divers. Sean Kingsley, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Oct. 2022 This realm – the one full of beau gregory damselfish, sergeant majors, parrot fish, squirrel fish, and queen angelfish darting below us – is her aquatic classroom, a coral nursery site that hosts 3,000 students a year for enrichment programs. Ross Kenneth Urken, Travel + Leisure, 8 June 2022 Scrolling below us was a mesmerizing, diaphanous panorama of rainbow parrotfish and blue angelfish darting in and out of the reef. Tom Vanderbilt, Outside Online, 2 July 2019 Species represented include the Bluespine unicorn fish, multiple species of pufferfish and angelfish. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 10 Mar. 2022 Divers and snorkelers will find spotted eagle rays dancing through the water, colorful angelfish fluttering over corals, and schools of silvery baitfish flashing past. Judy Koutsky, Forbes, 20 Jan. 2022 Allow for at least three hours to enjoy everything from smoked angelfish to barbecued mackerel and even kreef, South Africa's spiny lobster. Katie Jackson, Travel + Leisure, 5 Aug. 2021 Blue tang and angelfish glided by a cushion starfish. Washington Post, 25 June 2021 Snorkel with sea life from angelfish to rays, learn about otters and marmosets in the Freshwater Oasis, feed birds inside the Explorer’s Aviary, learn about animal ambassadors passing by, take a dip in Serenity Bay or float around Wind-Away River. Kathleen Christiansen,, 20 Dec. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'angelfish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of angelfish was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near angelfish

Cite this Entry

“Angelfish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


an·​gel·​fish ˈān-jəl-ˌfish How to pronounce angelfish (audio)
: any of several brightly colored bony fishes that are very thin from side to side and live in warm seas
: a similarly thin black and silver South American fish popular in aquariums

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