electric eel


: a large eel-shaped fish (Electrophorus electricus) of the Orinoco and Amazon basins that is capable of giving a severe shock with its electric organs

Examples of electric eel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In theory, this means that electric eels could be contributing to the genetic modification of other species in the wild. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Dec. 2023 For the past 250 years, scientists believed that all electric eels belonged to the same species, but in 2019, research conducted by C. David de Santana, a Smithsonian researcher, proved that there are at least three species, the largest and most electrified being the Volta's electric eel. Annie Roth, Star Tribune, 21 Jan. 2021 Ooh girl, shock me like an electric eel. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 9 June 2016 George Baker's electric eel exhibition of 1776 and 1777 is then instructive in exploring the production and circulation of knowledge in Georgian Britain. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 16 Sep. 2011 Can an electric eel act like a defibrillator? Mike Rose, cleveland, 21 Sep. 2021 Both continents are home to fish that can talk to each other using electric fields: the elephantfishes of Africa, and the knifefishes of South America (including the famous electric eel). Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 23 Nov. 2010 In the murky freshwater rivers and streams that snake across the Amazon lurks an eight-foot fascination: the electric eel. Roni Dengler, Discover Magazine, 9 Sep. 2019 Since their discovery more than 250 years ago by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, researchers have thought the electric eel was a one-of-a-kind phenomenon, with only one species, Electrophorus electricus. Roni Dengler, Discover Magazine, 9 Sep. 2019

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

1774, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of electric eel was in 1774

Dictionary Entries Near electric eel

Cite this Entry

“Electric eel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electric%20eel. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

electric eel

: a large South American eel-shaped fish able to give a severe electric shock

Medical Definition

electric eel

: a large eel-shaped bony fish (Electrophorus electricus of the family Electrophoridae) of the Orinoco and Amazon basins that is capable of giving a severe shock with electricity generated by a special tract of tissue

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