Definition of eel
1a : any of numerous voracious elongate snakelike bony fishes (order Anguilliformes) that have a smooth slimy skin, lack pelvic fins, and have the median fins confluent around the tail — compare american eelb : any of numerous other elongate fishes (as of the order Synbranchiformes)
2 : any of various nematodes (such as the vinegar eel)
eellikeplay \ˈēl-ˌlīk\ adjective
eelyplay \ˈē-lē\ adjective
Recent Examples of eel from the Web
Also, thousands of slime eels fell out of bins and onto the highway, creating an enormous clean-up operation for authorities.
A truck hauling eels overturned on an Oregon highway, turning the coastal road into a slimy mess.
Hagfish, deep-sea scavengers that look a bit like eels and are capable of generating massive amounts of anti-predator mucus at a moment’s notice.
The Mitsubishi was loaded with thirteen containers, containing a combined 7,500 pounds of hagfish, better known as slime eels.
There are pickpockets, eels, public acts of dentistry, an aggressive neon color palette, and even an errant camel.
And a hearty fondness for Dom Pérignon—it is listed as an ingredient in salads and chicken dishes, and it’s even cooked with eel.
The crystal-clear shots of glistening pieces of saltwater eel are enough to make even the fish-averse want to immediately run out for omakase.
Protein options include tuna, salmon, shrimp tempura, eel and spicy tuna and salmon.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
There are more than 500 fish species known as eels. They are slender, elongated, and usually scaleless, with long dorsal and anal fi ns that are continuous around the tail tip. Eels are found in all seas, from coastal regions to the mid-depths. Freshwater eels are active, predatory fish with small embedded scales. They grow to maturity in freshwater and return to the sea, where they spawn and die. The transparent young drift to the coast and make their way upstream. Freshwater eels, considered valuable food fish, include species ranging from 4 in (10 cm) to about 111⁄2 ft (3.5 m) long.
Origin and Etymology of eel
Middle English ele, from Old English ǣl; akin to Old High German āl eel
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of eel
1a : to fish for eels — see also eelingb : to fish with eels as bait
2 : to move or make (one's way) sinuously or insidiously : worm Stories my Russian friends had told me about the hundreds who were trampled at Stalin's funeral came back to me. Finally, we gave up and eeled our way out of there. — Ian Frazier
First Known Use of eel
EEL Defined for Kids
Definition of eel for Students
: a long fish that looks like a snake and has smooth slimy skin
Seen and Heard
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