: 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 caudalsense 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
: the flesh of fish used as food
We're having fish for dinner.
: a person who is caught or is wanted (as in a criminal investigation)
We're having fish for dinner.
he's rather an odd fishVerb
We spent the afternoon fishing for trout.
They fished the stream all morning.
She was fishing around in her purse for her keys.
Recent Examples on the Web
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the fish is wide-ranging in off-shore waters, but the adults tend to congregate on the ocean floor where they aren’t commonly caught.—Travis Hall, Field & Stream, 30 Nov. 2023 Eyesight plays a secondary role, especially for flatheads in pursuit of fish.—Outdoor Life, 30 Nov. 2023 Contains scenes of cooks cutting into fish and other animal flesh.—Tim Carman, Washington Post, 29 Nov. 2023 From a mudskipper fish defending its territory and a family of monkeys posing for a Christmas card to a young London fox making the most of a full bin, the 25 unforgettable images from which to choose, explore the beauty of the natural world and the impact of our actions.—Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 On weekends, partiers pack in for live music and hearty pub grub—order a pie or the fish and chips with dill tartar and mint mushy peas.—Ann Marie McQueen, Condé Nast Traveler, 28 Nov. 2023 The terms of the agreement also provide Fish with access to Primary Waves resources, including their marketing team and publishing infrastructure, including digital strategy, licensing, synch opportunities, and film and TV production.—Thania Garcia, Variety, 28 Nov. 2023 Her Libyan recipe for fried fish with vinegar and onions is well worth making.—Laurie Ochoa, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2023 Every Southerner knows that a plate of fried shrimp or fish is not complete without a basket of hot hush puppies.—Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 24 Nov. 2023
This is for the person who wants to know about the electric vehicle experience on a road trip, the mom who takes her kids to football or soccer practice, the dad who coaches a team and may fish on the weekend.—Selika Josiah Talbott, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 The Europeans could only fish east of the line, while the Canadians, Americans and Japanese would fish west of it, limiting their catches to let the population recover.—Karen Pinchin, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Nov. 2023 The last time Shepard went fishing in rural Broken Bow was with his son, Matthew Shepard, in 1998.—Jenna Wang, Peoplemag, 21 Nov. 2023 When fishing on the eastern side of South America, Chinese squid ships typically restock in the Uruguayan port of Montevideo.—Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2023 Although historically only courts or their grand juries could issue subpoenas, the law grants the state’s attorney general a subpoena power to fish through private documents.—Philip Hamburger, WSJ, 1 Nov. 2023 Constructed from eco-friendly and water-resistant materials, this advent calendar features tackle designed for fishing in various waters, including rivers, lakes, and the sea.
Price at time of publish: $12.99 (orig.—Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 18 Nov. 2023 The report, published Wednesday, found that a quarter of vessels suspected of abusing workers are flagged to China, whose distant water fleet dominates fishing on the high seas, traditionally lawless areas beyond the jurisdiction of any single country.—Joshua Goodman, Fortune, 16 Nov. 2023 The report, published Nov. 15, found that a quarter of vessels suspected of abusing workers are flagged to China, whose distant water fleet dominates fishing on the high seas, traditionally lawless areas beyond the jurisdiction of any single country.—Joshua Goodman, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Noun and Verb
Middle English, from Old English fisc; akin to Old High German fisc fish, Latin piscis
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a