butterfly fish


Definition of butterfly fish

1 : any of a family (Chaetodontidae) of small brilliantly colored bony fishes of tropical seas with a narrow deep body and scaled fins
2 : a small brown freshwater bony fish (Pantodon buchholzi of the family Pantodontidae) of western Africa that has elongate winglike pectoral fins

Examples of butterfly fish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web It’s not uncommon to also see red pencil sea urchins, butterfly fish and moray eels. Sarah Sekula, USA TODAY, "Stand-up paddleboarding is a perfect social-distancing activity. Here are 6 spots to try it.," 23 Aug. 2020 During the dive, sea turtles—honu in Hawaiian—relax, swim nearby and enjoy a visit to butterfly fish and other reef fish that eat the algae off of their shells. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Celebrate World Ocean Month With Four Virtual Dives," 16 June 2020

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

First Known Use of butterfly fish

1931, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for butterfly fish

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The first known use of butterfly fish was in 1931

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Statistics for butterfly fish

Last Updated

5 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Butterfly fish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/butterfly%20fish. Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on butterfly fish

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about butterfly fish

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