cich·​lid ˈsi-kləd How to pronounce cichlid (audio)
: any of a family (Cichlidae) of mostly tropical spiny-finned usually freshwater fishes including several kept in tropical aquariums
cichlid adjective

Examples of cichlid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So can bees, which can also add and subtract, as can both stingrays and cichlids—at least for a small number of objects (in the range of one to five). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 1 Feb. 2024 His catches this past week consisted of peacock bass up to 5.5 pounds, snook, and largemouth bass to six pounds, chain pickerel, clown knife fish, grass carp and Mayan cichlids. Alan Sherman, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 In fact, because female cichlids choose to mate with male cichlids whose colors correspond to their own, these fish have successfully separated themselves into separate mating pools, and thus species, while still living in close proximity. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 10 May 2023 Most notable among these examples are the African cichlids. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 10 May 2023 These animals, largely cichlids, enjoy pristine cerulean surroundings. Stephanie Vermillion, Travel + Leisure, 8 Mar. 2023 The species was originally described in 1976 as a cichlid, part of the family that includes tilapia and peacock bass. Asher Elbein, New York Times, 25 Feb. 2020 Scientists at the University of Burgundy in France studied one called the convict cichlid, a monogamous fish species that forms long-lasting pairs. Sigal Samuel, Vox, 20 July 2019 But the number of cichlid species has declined, researchers found in the 1990s. Elizabeth Preston, Science | AAAS, 20 June 2019

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

Word History


from the base of New Latin Cichlidae, family name, from Cichla, a genus in the family (borrowed from Greek kíchlē "thrush, a species of wrasse," probably of pre-Greek substratal origin) + -idae -idae

First Known Use

1884, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cichlid was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near cichlid

Cite this Entry

“Cichlid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on cichlid

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!