an·​thi·​as ˈan-thē-əs How to pronounce anthias (audio)
plural anthias
: any of various small, brightly-colored marine fishes (subfamily Anthiinae of the family Serranidae) that have elongated bodies, inhabit coral reefs, often occur in large schools, and include several popular aquarium fishes
You'd expect a trashed, barren reef, but from the coral rubble grew algae, which brought in loads of small fish like anthias, and in turn tons of bigger ones like grouper and trevally.Nick Lucey, Rodale's Scuba Diving, August 1997

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, a genus name (in Linnaeus the specific epithet of Labrus anthias, later Anthias anthias), going back to Latin, borrowed from Greek anthíās, name for Anthias anthias or similar species

First Known Use

1722, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anthias was in 1722

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Cite this Entry

“Anthias.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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