hag·​fish ˈhag-ˌfish How to pronounce hagfish (audio)
: 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 Together for 22 years, the couple share a home in Corona del Mar. But rather than developing a flying car, Gregg is looking at the slime produced by hagfish, the antiseptic qualities of horseshoe crab blood, undersea robots and the potential of a sardine boat almost 90 years old. Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2023 Now scientists have learned that this mucus is a precious resource for a hagfish. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 29 Mar. 2018 First, mobile scavengers like sleeper sharks, hagfish, and isopods travel long distances to feast on the carcass. Popsci Staff, Popular Science, 10 May 2023 In 2016, a group of scientists in the U.S. proposed a hypothesis that the Tully monster was an early vertebrate similar in some anatomical details to the modern cyclostomes (a group including today jawless fish like lamprey and hagfish). David Bressan, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 According to the research, these structures are inconsistent with the keratinous teeth found in lampreys and hagfish, two vertebrates thought to be distant relatives. Jamie Dickman, Popular Science, 17 Apr. 2023 In every case the hagfish emerged unharmed while the predators fled the scene, gagging on the irritating slime that rapidly expands in seawater and clogs the gills. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 9 May 2012 The slime could also give the hagfish a competitive edge among other scavengers. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 14 Feb. 2012 The videos also reveal that at least one species of hagfish can go on the attack. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 9 May 2012 See More

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Word History

First Known Use

1799, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hagfish was in 1799

Dictionary Entries Near hagfish

Cite this Entry

“Hagfish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hagfish. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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