fish·​bowl | \ ˈfish-ˌbōl \

Definition of fishbowl

1 : a bowl for the keeping of live fish
2 : a place or condition that affords no privacy

Examples of fishbowl in a Sentence

Being a politician these days means living in a fishbowl—every part of your life is open to public view.

Recent Examples on the Web

The octagonal office where Ms. Roberts conducts counseling sessions creates a fishbowl effect. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "The Surreal World: TV Delves Into Paranoia, Anxiety and Misinformation," 27 Oct. 2018 Inside a fishbowl of soundproof glass in London, the past three weeks have delivered nonstop mental and physical theater. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "A Black Eye, a Controversial Leak and Possible Armageddon—the Madness of the World Chess Championship," 27 Nov. 2018 As a part of the rebrand, RWB will be updating or adding new features, including a shot bar, an eight-inch prize wheel, dance platform and fishbowl drinks. Stephanie Morse, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Downtown Milwaukee's Red, White & Blue bar is rebranded as RWB," 21 June 2018 The first question Bryan pulls from the fishbowl is what his favorite cocktail is: vodka with ruby red grapefruit juice. Rebecca Schiller, Billboard, "Luke Bryan Reveals Madonna Was His First Celebrity Crush While Playing 'Fishing For Answers': Watch," 5 June 2018 Handler kicked off the event with a gloriously brief introduction and ended it by personally passing the donation fishbowl. Beth Spotswood,, "Communal reading party speaks volumes for school libraries," 19 June 2018 In the fishbowl environment of the NFL, there’s no end to the scrutiny, fair or not. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "As NFL draft approaches, excuses won’t cut it for QB Josh Allen and those racist tweets," 26 Apr. 2018 The bathroom, with its see-through walls and ceiling, feels like a bona-fide fishbowl. Nikki Ekstein,, "A hotel in the Maldives lets you sleep underwater — for $50,000 a night," 19 Apr. 2018 No doubt Ohtani needed time to grow accustomed to his new country, new training methods, new baseball and new competition in this fishbowl life. Staff,, "Nine Innings: Inside Ohtani's Electric Debut, Masahiro Tanaka's Resurgence and Ranking the Most Surprising Starts to 2018," 9 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of fishbowl

1906, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fishbowl

Statistics for fishbowl

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fishbowl

The first known use of fishbowl was in 1906

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fishbowl



English Language Learners Definition of fishbowl

: a bowl used for keeping live fish
chiefly US : a place or condition in which there is no privacy

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fishbowl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fishbowl

Spanish Central: Translation of fishbowl

Nglish: Translation of fishbowl for Spanish Speakers

Comments on fishbowl

What made you want to look up fishbowl? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!