Definition of halibut
: any of several marine flatfishes (especially Hippoglossus hippoglossus of the Atlantic and H. stenolepis of the Pacific) that are widely used for food and include some of the largest bony fishes
Did You Know?
Among the different kinds of fish found in the world’s oceans is a group called the flatfish. Flatfish are well named, for they have flattened bodies with both eyes on the upper side of the head. In Middle English the word for flatfish was butte. During the Middle Ages, fish was often eaten on holy days in place of meat. The most popular fish for the holy days was the largest variety of flatfish, or “butte.” Thus, this particular fish came to be called in Middle English halybutte, meaning literally “holy flatfish,” from haly, a form of holy, and butte. In modern English the spelling has been changed to halibut.
Origin and Etymology of halibut
Middle English halybutte, from haly, holy holy + butte flatfish, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German but; from its being eaten on holy days
First Known Use: 14th century
HALIBUT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of halibut for English Language Learners
: a large fish of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that is often eaten as food
HALIBUT Defined for Kids
Definition of halibut for Students
: a very large saltwater flatfish often used for food
Seen and Heard
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