jawless fish

noun

: any of the taxonomic group (Agnatha) of primitive vertebrates without jaws including cyclostomes and extinct related forms compare bony fish, cartilaginous fish

Examples of jawless fish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This includes not just salmon but also creatures like lampreys—primitive, jawless fish with toothy mouths that suction to their hosts. Solutions for migratory fish exist, like fish ladders or fishways, which provide a detour in the form of ascending pools. Alka Tripathy-Lang, Ars Technica, 11 Jan. 2024 Lampreys are jawless fish that look similar to eels. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Nov. 2023 One such find, from ancient deposits in Colorado, contains parts of a jawless fish that a new study has scanned with modern X-ray tomography. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 3 Oct. 2023 And lampreys — the jawless fish that have been around, unchanged, for 360 million years — have round, suction-disk mouths and teeth on their tongues to scrape through skin and access blood. Sofia Quaglia, Discover Magazine, 31 May 2023 In recent years paleontologists have even connected the Tully Monster to jawless fish such as lampreys, which have a backbonelike structure. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 19 Apr. 2023 If found to be a vertebrate, the Tully monster would fill a gap in evolutionary history, connecting jawless fish (such as lampreys and hagfish) to jawed fish. Jamie Dickman, Popular Science, 17 Apr. 2023 While McCoy still thinks the Tully Monster was related to jawless fish, she is intrigued by the new study’s findings. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 19 Apr. 2023 Earth’s animals—represented largely by shelled mollusks, armored arthropods, and a smattering of wriggly, jawless fish—breathed with gills, not lungs, and hunted their prey at sea. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Jan. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'jawless fish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1941, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of jawless fish was circa 1941

Dictionary Entries Near jawless fish

Cite this Entry

“Jawless fish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jawless%20fish. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

jawless fish

noun
jaw·​less fish ˌjȯ-ləs- How to pronounce jawless fish (audio)
: any of a group of primitive fishes that do not have jaws and include the lampreys and their relatives
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