fish

noun, often attributive
\ ˈfish How to pronounce fish (audio) \
plural fish or fishes

Definition of fish

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : an aquatic animal usually used in combination starfishcuttlefish
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 sense 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.
3a : a person who is caught or is wanted (as in a criminal investigation)
b : fellow, person an odd fish
c : sucker sense 5a felt sorry for the poor fish
4 : something that resembles a fish: such as
a Fish or Fishes plural : pisces sense 1 also : pisces sense 2a
b : torpedo sense 1b The submarine's fish hit the freighter.
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.

fish

verb
fished; fishing; fishes

Definition of fish (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to attempt to catch fish
2 : to seek something by roundabout means fishing for a compliment
3a : 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

1a : to try to catch fish in
b : to fish with : use (something, such as a boat, a net, or bait) in fishing
2a : 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
fish or cut bait
: to make a choice between alternatives

Fish

biographical name
\ ˈfish How to pronounce Fish (audio) \

Definition of Fish (Entry 3 of 3)

Hamilton 1808–1893 American statesman

Illustration of fish

Illustration of fish

Noun

fish 1b: 1 mandible, 2 nasal opening, 3 eye, 4 cheek, 5 operculum, 6 dorsal fins, 7 lateral line, 8 caudal fin, 9 scales, 10 anal fin, 11 anus, 12 pectoral fin, 13 pelvic fin, 14 maxilla, 15 premaxilla, 16 upper jaw

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from fish

Noun

fishless \ ˈfish-​ləs How to pronounce fishless (audio) \ adjective
fishlike \ ˈfish-​ˌlīk How to pronounce fishlike (audio) \ adjective

Verb

fishability \ ˌfi-​shə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce fishability (audio) \ noun
fishable \ ˈfi-​shə-​bəl How to pronounce fishable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of fish in a Sentence

Noun

We're having fish for dinner. he's rather an odd fish

Verb

We spent the afternoon fishing for trout. They fished the stream all morning. She was fishing around in her purse for her keys.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), salmonella is a bacteria that is often found in raw fish, eggs, chicken, meat, and veggies. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "Everything You Need to Know About Salmonella," 2 May 2019 Green juice, fish tacos, chicken adobo, cioppino, and kale chips. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "20 Facts About Meghan Markle's Life Before She Met Prince Harry," 15 Apr. 2019 These are not your typical banquet-hall, chicken-or-fish... Max Watman, WSJ, "‘Hotbox’ Review: Prepping the Fiesta," 11 Apr. 2019 Her daily meals typically include fish, lean chicken, a lot of vegetables, and some fruit. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Jason Aldean's Wife Brittany Kerr Says It's Been 'Difficult' to Get Fit After Second Baby," 7 Apr. 2019 Jimmy Hula is known for its surfer motif and creative tacos, including a menu of fish tacos. Kyle Arnold, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Wacky taco purveyor Jimmy Hula's opening downtown," 11 July 2018 Grab fish tacos from its service window along Main Street or use one of the nine counter seats inside. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "Loosen your belt: 46 more restaurant and ice cream openings in Seattle and on the Eastside to try," 25 June 2018 Sirloin steak, baby back ribs, fish tacos and smoked salmon are among the options. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Savor Midtown offers dinner bargains in Broad Ripple," 12 June 2018 Stodola uses cast iron for every breakfast and for his favorite fish tacos. Joan Elovitz Kazan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Breakfast in bed? These dads would rather be in the kitchen," 12 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Jessica fishes around to see if any of her friends are getting similar threats, but no one fesses up. refinery29.com, "R29 Binge Club: 13 Reasons Why, Season 2," 18 May 2018 Good fly-fishing for trout in summer, 10-mph speed limit for boats. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Tom Stienstra: California’s 25 best cabins on golden ponds," 20 June 2018 Executive chef Josh Feathers, a native of East Tennessee who has fished the region’s streams and hunted its deer, presides over the main lodge’s Three Sisters restaurant, where the menu and setting skew a bit more formal. Mark Rozzo, Town & Country, "Introducing Blackberry Mountain, the Idyllic New Resort from Blackberry Farm," 11 Feb. 2019 According The Eagle, a newspaper covering Texas A&M and its surrounds, the body of water is stocked with fish, which the public can fish for on a catch-and-release basis. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "George H.W. Bush To Be Buried at His Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas," 4 Dec. 2018 Snowbird is a fiercely independent person who hunts and fishes on her own. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "‘Alaskan Bush People' Cast: How Well Do You Know the Brown Family?," 23 Sep. 2018 From tackle to how to fish certain local spots in Tennessee, learn mechanical aspects of bass fishing that will help you become a better fisherman. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pro Fishing Seminar on July 10th," 14 June 2018 Small jig/plastic combinations, crankbaits and in-line spinners fished on ultra-light spinning gear will draw redbreast strikes. Shannon Tompkins Staff Writer, San Antonio Express-News, "June spawn signals peak in Texas sunfish action," 7 June 2018 Anglers have been catching very good numbers of catfish in 2-3 feet of water around cove shorelines using shrimp and worms fished on the bottom. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: The angling is good, from reports across the region | The Kansas City Star," 23 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of fish

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fish

Noun and Verb

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

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Learn More about fish

Statistics for fish

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fish

The first known use of fish was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fish

fish

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of fish (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

noun
\ ˈfish How to pronounce fish (audio) \
plural fish or fishes

Kids Definition of fish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 starfishshellfish

Other Words from fish

fishlike \ -​ˌlīk \ adjective

fish

verb
fished; fishing

Kids Definition of fish (Entry 2 of 2)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on fish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fish

Spanish Central: Translation of fish

Nglish: Translation of fish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fish for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fish

Comments on fish

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