Definition of flatfish
: any of an order (Heterosomata) of marine typically bottom-dwelling bony fishes (such as the halibuts, flounders, turbots, and soles) that as adults swim on one side of the laterally compressed body and have both eyes on the upper side
Did You Know?
There are about 600 species of flatfish, which have oval, flattened, bony bodies and are found from tropical to cold waters. Flounder and turbot are two examples. Most flatfish species live at moderate depths along the continental shelf, but some enter or live permanently in freshwater. Flatfishes are carnivorous bottom-dwellers that habitually rest on one side. Both eyes are on one side of the head. The side of the fish with eyes (uppermost as it lies on the bottom) is pigmented, but the lower side is normally white. Some flatfish change color to blend with their surroundings. Species vary from 4 in (10 cm) to 7 ft (2 m) long, and some (for example, the Atlantic halibut) may weigh as much as 720 lb (325 kg).
First Known Use of flatfish
FLATFISH Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of flatfish for English Language Learners
: a fish (such as a halibut, flounder, or sole) that has a flat body and swims on its side with both eyes on the upper side
FLATFISH Defined for Kids
Definition of flatfish for Students
: a fish (as the flounder) that has a flat body and swims on its side with both eyes on the upper side
Seen and Heard
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