arowana

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

aruana

or

arawana

or

arahuana

Definition of arowana

  1. :  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 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

Origin and Etymology of 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


First Known Use: 1925


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