ca·​ran·​gid kə-ˈran-jəd How to pronounce carangid (audio) -ˈraŋ-gəd How to pronounce carangid (audio)
: of or relating to a large family (Carangidae of the order Perciformes) of marine spiny-finned bony fishes including important food fishes
carangid noun

Word History


from the base of New Latin Carangidae, family name, from Carang-, presumed stem of Caranx, a genus name (of uncertain origin) + -idae -idae

Note: The genus name Caranx was introduced by the French naturalist Bernard Germain de Lacépède (1756-1825) in Histoire naturelle des poissons, tome 3 (Paris, An X [1801/02]), p. 57 ff. Lacépède states that he adapted the name from its use in manuscripts by the naturalist Philibert Commerson (1727-73), who accompanied Louis Antoine de Bougainville on most of his circumnavigation of the globe in 1766-69: "Nous leur avons conservé le nom générique de caranx, qui leur a été donné par Commerson, et qui vient du mot grec καρα, lequel signifie tête. Ce voyageur les a nommés ainsi à cause de l'espèce de proéminence que présente leur tête, de la force de cette partie, de l'éclat dont elle brille …" ("We have reserved for them the genus name caranx, which was given them by Commerson, and which comes from the Greek word kara, which signifies 'head.' This traveler so named them for the sort of protuberance presented by their head, from the strength of that part, and for the brilliance which it gives off …."). Lacépède's etymology of caranx, arbitrary in derivational terms, appears to be fanciful. Since the 19th century, the name Caranx has been associated with French carangue, which Lacépède utilized as a specific epithet (Caranx carangua): "Nous avons conservé à ce caranx le nom spécifique de carangue, qu'il a porté a la Martinique, suivant Plumier." ("We have reserved for this caranx the species name carangue, which they bear in Martinique, according to Plumier.") Charles Plumier (1646-1704), a Minim friar and naturalist, produced during trips to the West Indies a number of descriptions and illustrations of fish species, upon which Lacépède based his own descriptions. Despite the similarity in form, it is uncertain if French carangue has any relation to Commerson's caranx. Commerson spent his last years on Mauritius, and could have been familiar with the word there. (The fish name carangue occurs in an anonymous report, "Relation de l'Île Rodrigue," compiled in the Indian Ocean before 1730; see Alphonse Milne Edwards, "Nouveaux documents sur l'époque de la disparition de la faune ancienne de l'Île Rodrigue," Annales des sciences naturelles, 6. série, tome 2, 1875, p. 136.)

First Known Use

1931, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of carangid was in 1931

Dictionary Entries Near carangid

Cite this Entry

“Carangid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

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