arowana

noun
aro·wa·na | \ ˌa-rə-ˈwä-nə , ˌer-ə- \
variants: or less commonly aruana or arawana or arahuana

Definition of arowana 

: any of several large, tropical, chiefly carnivorous freshwater fish (family Osteoglossidae and especially genera Osteoglossum and Scleropages) of South America, southeastern Asia, Australia, and Africa that have large bony scales, a toothed tongue, and a large mouth with an oblique gape

Note: Arowanas have a laterally compressed body and are typically silvery white, gold, red, or green. In the wild, some arowanas may reach a length of four feet (1.2 meters) or longer but are usually smaller when kept as aquarium fish.

called also bonytongue, dragonfish

— compare pirarucu

Examples of arowana in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

After the ban, a booming black market for arowana emerged. Amy Qin, New York Times, "Cosmetic Surgery for a Pet Fish? In Asia, This One Is King of the Tank," 27 Mar. 2018 Though there are now legal methods of breeding and trading, arowana have still been sold for up to $300,000. Lilian Min, The Cut, "Even Giant Fish Can’t Ignore the Siren Song of Plastic Surgery," 28 Mar. 2018 The overwhelming demand had a devastating effect on the wild population of arowana. Amy Qin, New York Times, "Cosmetic Surgery for a Pet Fish? In Asia, This One Is King of the Tank," 27 Mar. 2018 Asian arowana fish can grow up to three feet long, but these aquarium giants, seen as a status symbol in many East Asian cultures, aren’t exempt from the beauty standards that rule us all. Lilian Min, The Cut, "Even Giant Fish Can’t Ignore the Siren Song of Plastic Surgery," 28 Mar. 2018 But the Asian arowana is not your average pet store fish. Amy Qin, New York Times, "Cosmetic Surgery for a Pet Fish? In Asia, This One Is King of the Tank," 27 Mar. 2018 The Asian arowana is the world’s most expensive aquarium fish. National Geographic, "Meet the World's Most Expensive Pet Fish," 17 July 2016

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

See More

First Known Use of arowana

1904, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arowana

borrowed from New Latin, specific epithet of Osteoglossum arowana (now O. bicirrhosum), borrowed from Guyanese Carib arawana "the fish Osteoglossum bicirrhosum" (or a like form in Macusi, Cariban language of southern Guyana and Brazil), borrowed, probably via Nheengatu (Tupi-based creole of Amazonia), from Tupi aruaná

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about arowana

Dictionary Entries near arowana

arousing

a rovescio

arow

arowana

aroxy

aroyl

Arp

Statistics for arowana

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arowana

The first known use of arowana was in 1904

See more words from the same year

Comments on arowana

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

WORD OF THE DAY

occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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