kil·​li·​fish | \ ˈki-li-ˌfish How to pronounce killifish (audio) \

Definition of killifish

1 : any of a family (Cyprinodontidae) of numerous small oviparous fishes much used as bait and in mosquito control
2 : any of various live-bearers (family Poeciliidae)

Examples of killifish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This video compares the embryos and life spans of killifish who either experienced or skipped diapause, capturing time-lapses and detailed snapshots of their embryonic development. Joel Goldberg, Science | AAAS, "Watch African killifish embryos enter suspended animation to survive," 20 Feb. 2020 For about 5 to 6 months, this killifish, roughly the size of a thumb, puts most of its embryo’s critical body processes—including muscle and nerve cell growth—on hold. Joel Goldberg, Science | AAAS, "Watch African killifish embryos enter suspended animation to survive," 20 Feb. 2020 The smaller reds readily take live shrimp and killifish minnows, while the lunkers prefer finger mullet, grunts and pinfish. Frank Sargeant, al, "Friday Fishing Report: What’s hooking fish on Alabama lakes?," 1 Nov. 2019 Baitfish traps are easy to use, and are very effective at collecting some small baitfish, including pinfish, killifish, and mud or bull minnows. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, "The Ultimate Guide to Catching and Keeping Saltwater Live Bait," 2 Jan. 2020 Live mullet or killifish are by far the best bait but a jig tipped with shrimp and worked slowly along bottom also catches some of these tasty flatfish. Frank Sargeant, al, "Friday Fishing Report: Big catfish hooked on Tennessee Valley lakes," 15 Nov. 2019 Beneath its dull green surface teems a population of Atlantic killifish, a silvery topminnow that's common along the Eastern Seaboard. Wired, "How Cities Reshape the Evolutionary Path of Urban Wildlife," 23 Sep. 2019 Silva further tells Marconi that killifish eggs deposited in dry soil can survive until rain replenishes their habitat. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "A Swan Swallowed This Fish Egg, Pooped It Out—and Then 49 Days Later, It Hatched," 18 June 2019 Snowy egrets stalked the shallows, stabbing menhaden and killifish and the occasional shrimp swept along in the current. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Bay food chain comes to life with tide change," 14 Apr. 2018

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

1836, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for killifish

killie killifish (perhaps from kill entry 3) + fish

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The first known use of killifish was in 1836

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Cite this Entry

“Killifish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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