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 (as the vinegar eel)
eellikeplay \ˈēl-ˌlīk\ adjective
eelyplay \ˈē-lē\ adjective
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 century
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
What made you want to look up eel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).