damselfish

noun

dam·​sel·​fish ˈdam-zəl-ˌfish How to pronounce damselfish (audio)
: any of numerous often brilliantly colored marine fishes (family Pomacentridae) living especially along coral reefs

called also demoiselle

Examples of damselfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Next, the researchers trotted out a parrotfish model, which the damselfish didn’t investigate as frequently and didn’t register as a threat. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 8 Aug. 2023 Experiments show that damselfishes, sharks and crabs raised in or exposed to highly acidic water may fail to smell predators or to find food or may uncharacteristically wander into dangerous places. Danielle L. Dixson, Scientific American, 1 June 2017 Mate choice copying has since been observed in other species, including quail, mice and damselfish. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, 1 Oct. 2019 Munday showed that another common reef-dweller – Ward’s damselfish – was similarly affected. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 7 July 2010 The team's experimental setup to test whether the chemical cue benefitted the damselfish. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 28 Oct. 2015 Crabs stop feeding, cuttlefish change colors, damselfish are more easily caught. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 13 June 2022 The Brigade’s members, mostly volunteers, delighted in the bright damselfish that darted into restored crevices even before the paste had hardened. New York Times, 5 Dec. 2020 Making a castle fit for a human, but also for a damselfish. Emily Cataneo, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Oct. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'damselfish.' 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

1904, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of damselfish was in 1904

Dictionary Entries Near damselfish

Cite this Entry

“Damselfish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damselfish. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

damselfish

noun
dam·​sel·​fish ˈdam-zəl-ˌfish How to pronounce damselfish (audio)
: any of numerous often brilliantly colored marine fishes that live especially along coral reefs

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