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 To put this in context, the first vertebrate (the hagfish) is estimated to have arrived 450 million years ago. Cyra Richardson, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 When attacked, a hagfish secretes a slime that quickly balloons up to 10,000 times its original volume. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 18 Dec. 2019 Scientists have found similar extra chromosomes in hagfishes and some insects. Kate Wong, Scientific American, 1 Nov. 2019 In some cases, a single hagfish can fill a 5-gallon bucket with its slime! Nicola Di Girolamo, The Conversation, 24 July 2019 This slime can clog the gills of other fishes and protects the hagfish from predators. Nicola Di Girolamo, The Conversation, 24 July 2019 The hagfish fills its potential attackers’ mouths and gills with goo. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, 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, 5 June 2018 The researchers obtained dead insects, hagfish, lampreys and other animals to watch them wither away. Kristin Hugo, Newsweek, 21 Mar. 2018

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 26 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hagfish

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hagfish


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