blen·​ny ˈble-nē How to pronounce blenny (audio)
plural blennies
: any of numerous usually small and elongated marine fishes (especially families Blenniidae and Clinidae) including scaled and scaleless forms

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One of a group of numerous and diverse species, blennies are mostly small, marine fish found from tropical to cold seas. Blennies are slim, ranging from moderately elongated, to very long and eel-like. Their habitats include rocky pools, sandy beaches, reefs, and beds of kelp. Many live in shallow water, but some live in depths of about 1,500 ft (450 m). Some are mainly herbivores; others are partial or complete carnivores. They are generally unobtrusive and of little economic importance.

Examples of blenny in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some species of blenny live exclusively in the water, while others hop in and out of the water, which not only alters their environment but can alter their body's temperature and oxygen levels. Fox News, 17 June 2020 Not deterred by his humorously painful experience with the blenny in Guam, Losey travelled to Eniwetok Atoll to observe Meiacanthus atrodorsalis and two similar-looking blenny species and perform preliminary toxicity tests. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 30 Mar. 2017 Morgans and Ord traveled around the periphery of Guam and visited five different blenny populations. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 5 Dec. 2013 Having a specialized diet allowed certain species of blenny to adapt to environmental changes or continue to evolve to further the species, the researchers noted. Fox News, 17 June 2020 Those puny fishes—gobies, blennies, cardinalfishes, and others—are mostly less than two inches long. Jennifer Hayes, National Geographic, 23 May 2019 The fish that are likely to thrive in the oceans of the future—small, adaptable species such as gobies and blennies—are, simply, not fish people like to eat. Lizzie Wade, WIRED, 1 Sep. 2015 Stone crabs, arrow crabs and various blennies live hidden amidst the anemones. Ben Raines |,, 5 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blenny.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin blennius, a sea fish, from Greek blennos

First Known Use

1769, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of blenny was in 1769

Dictionary Entries Near blenny

Cite this Entry

“Blenny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


blen·​ny ˈblen-ē How to pronounce blenny (audio)
plural blennies
: any of numerous usually small and relatively long and often scaleless fishes living about rocky seashores

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