1

fish

noun, often attributive \ ˈfish \

Definition of fish

plural fish or fishes
1 a :an aquatic animal usually used in combination
  • starfish
  • cuttlefish
b :any of numerous cold-blooded strictly aquatic craniate vertebrates that include the bony fishes and usually the cartilaginous and jawless fishes and that have typically an elongated somewhat spindle-shaped body terminating in a broad caudal (see caudal 2) fin, limbs in the form of fins when present at all, and a 2-chambered heart by which blood is sent through thoracic gills to be oxygenated
  • freshwater fish
  • tropical fish
2 :the flesh of fish used as food
  • We're having fish for dinner.
3 a :a person who is caught or is wanted (as in a criminal investigation)
b :fellow, person
  • an odd fish
c :sucker 5a
  • felt sorry for the poor fish
4 :something that resembles a fish: such as
a Fish or Fishes plural :pisces 1; also :pisces 2a
b :torpedo 1b
  • The submarine's fish hit the freighter.

fishless

play \ˈfish-ləs\ adjective

fishlike

play \ˈfish-ˌlīk\ adjective
fish out of water
:a person who is in an unnatural or uncomfortable sphere or situation
  • The country boy felt like a fish out of water in the big city.
fish to fry
:concerns or interests to pursue usually used with other
  • can't deal with that problem now; we've got other fish to fry right now
neither fish nor fowl
:one that does not belong to a particular class or category
  • The movie is neither fish nor fowl—it's not really a comedy, but it's too light-hearted to be called a drama.

Examples of fish in a Sentence

  1. We're having fish for dinner.

  2. he's rather an odd fish

Recent Examples of fish from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of fish

Origin and Etymology of fish

Middle English, from Old English fisc; akin to Old High German fisc fish, Latin piscis

Other Fishes Terms


2

fish

verb

Definition of fish

intransitive verb
1 :to attempt to catch fish
2 :to seek something by roundabout means
  • fishing for a compliment
3 a :to search for something underwater
  • fish for pearls
b :to engage in a search by groping or feeling
  • fishing around in her purse for her keys
transitive verb
1 a :to try to catch fish in
b :to fish with :use (something, such as a boat, a net, or bait) in fishing
2 a :to go fishing for
  • fish salmon
b :to pull or draw as if fishing
  • fished the ball from under the car
  • fish wires through a conduit

fishability

play \ˌfi-shə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

fishable

play \ˈfi-shə-bəl\ adjective
fish or cut bait
:to make a choice between alternatives

Examples of fish in a Sentence

  1. We spent the afternoon fishing for trout.

  2. They fished the stream all morning.

  3. She was fishing around in her purse for her keys.

Recent Examples of fish from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of fish

see 1fish

fish Synonyms


Fish

biographical name \ ˈfish \

Definition of Fish

Hamilton 1808–1893 American statesman


FISH Defined for English Language Learners

fish

noun

Definition of fish for English Language Learners

  • : a cold-blooded animal that lives in water, breathes with gills, and usually has fins and scales

  • : the meat of a fish eaten as food


fish

verb

Definition of fish for English Language Learners

  • : to catch or try to catch fish

  • : to catch or try to catch fish in (a river, stream, etc.)

  • : to search for something by feeling : to use your hand to try to find something


FISH Defined for Kids

1

fish

noun \ ˈfish \

Definition of fish for Students

plural fish or fishes
1 :any of a large group of vertebrate animals that live in water, breathe with gills, and usually have fins and scales
2 :an animal that lives in water usually used in combination
  • starfish
  • shellfish

fishlike

\-ˌlīk\ adjective

2

fish

verb

Definition of fish for Students

fished; fishing
1 :to catch or try to catch fish
2 :to search for something by or as if by feeling
  • I fished in my purse for change.


Seen and Heard

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