bony fish


: any of a major taxon (class Osteichthyes or superclass Teleostomi) comprising fishes (such as sturgeons, eels, mackerels, and sunfish) with a bony rather than a cartilaginous skeleton

called also teleost

compare cartilaginous fish, jawless fish

Examples of bony fish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The shape of its jaw indicates a short head designed for a formidable bite, ideal for hunting smaller sharks, bony fish, and squid-like orthocones. Melissa Cristina Márquez, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 Most birds have this ability, along with honeybees, reptiles and certain bony fish. Lauren Leffer, Scientific American, 23 Jan. 2024 Their diet favors bony fish and smaller sharks (including their fellow bull sharks), as well as turtles, birds, dolphins and crustaceans. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 16 July 2023 In the water, sharks, dolphins, rays and certain bony fish have electroreception. Allison Futterman, Discover Magazine, 12 Oct. 2023 In Nussbaum’s view, all mammals fall within this category; so too do bony fish and birds; insects can go either way; corals, jellyfish, and sponges don’t qualify. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 21 Dec. 2022 Maybe the tetrapods, sharks and bony fish would have outcompeted their rivals anyway. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 23 Jan. 2021 It is considered the longest bony fish in the world by Guinness World Records. James Powel, USA TODAY, 21 July 2023 Unlike the typical scales found on bony fishes, which are thin and overlapping, dermal denticles are hard and tooth-like in structure. Melissa Cristina Márquez, Forbes, 17 July 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1673, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bony fish was in 1673

Dictionary Entries Near bony fish

Cite this Entry

“Bony fish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

bony fish

: any of a class of fishes (as eels, mackerels, and trout) with bony rather than cartilaginous skeletons

More from Merriam-Webster on bony fish

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