hag·​fish | \ ˈhag-ˌfish How to pronounce hagfish (audio) \

Definition of hagfish

: any of a family (Myxinidae) of marine cyclostomes that are related to the lampreys and in general resemble eels but have a round mouth surrounded by barbels and that feed upon other fishes and invertebrates by boring into their bodies

Examples of hagfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When attacked, a hagfish secretes a slime that quickly balloons up to 10,000 times its original volume. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Navy Is Turning to the Humble Hagfish to Stop Hostile Boats," 18 Dec. 2019 Scientists have found similar extra chromosomes in hagfishes and some insects. Kate Wong, Scientific American, "Solving the Mystery of Songbird Diversity," 1 Nov. 2019 In some cases, a single hagfish can fill a 5-gallon bucket with its slime! Nicola Di Girolamo, The Conversation, "What in the world is a slime eel?," 24 July 2019 This slime can clog the gills of other fishes and protects the hagfish from predators. Nicola Di Girolamo, The Conversation, "What in the world is a slime eel?," 24 July 2019 The hagfish fills its potential attackers’ mouths and gills with goo. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Is Creating a Military Slime," 18 Aug. 2018 Little is known about hagfish in Alaska, although they are commonly caught elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "Hagfish study looks at potential of ‘slime eels’ to become a new fishery for Alaska," 5 June 2018 The researchers obtained dead insects, hagfish, lampreys and other animals to watch them wither away. Kristin Hugo, Newsweek, "Scientists Are Studying Rotting Animal Carcasses to Understand Why Complete Dinosaur Fossils Are So Rare," 21 Mar. 2018 Publishing their findings in the Journal of The Royal Society Interface Wednesday, scientists found that hagfish don't have puncture-resistant skin. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Hagfish Survive Attacks With Loose Skin and Lots of Slime," 15 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hagfish.' 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 hagfish

1611, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of hagfish was in 1611

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Cite this Entry

“Hagfish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hagfish. Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hagfish

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