ca·​tad·​ro·​mous kə-ˈta-drə-məs How to pronounce catadromous (audio)
: living in fresh water and going to the sea to spawn
catadromous eels
compare anadromous

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web American eels are North America’s only species of catadromous fish. Lela Nargi, Washington Post, 24 May 2022 This was my Holy Grail—a catadromous, trout-like mullet that lives in the clear rivers that tumble from the mountains. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, 27 May 2020 As catadromous fish, European eels spend most of their adult lives in freshwater rivers, streams, and estuaries before returning to the open ocean to spawn and lay eggs. National Geographic, 25 Mar. 2020

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

Word History


probably from New Latin catadromus, from cata- + -dromus -dromous

First Known Use

1880, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of catadromous was in 1880

Dictionary Entries Near catadromous

Cite this Entry

“Catadromous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

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