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 ◆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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