plural koi
: a carp (Cyprinus carpio) bred especially in Japan for large size and a variety of colors and often stocked in ornamental ponds

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The eaglets’ parents are bringing them plenty of food — usually shad, koi or catfish; and sometimes the occasional squirrel or groundhog — Greeley said. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2023 Meet the man who breeds world-class koi fish. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 27 Jan. 2022 Inside the dining room, at least 200 pastel koi fish sculptures suspend from the ceiling amid an open kitchen, oak-colored walls, teak tables and an assortment of ginger plants and succulents. Phillip Valys,, 30 Mar. 2021 Or is a small koi on the loose? Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, 10 Dec. 2020 The koi were the last to arrive. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 July 2020 Carrot is a hybrid species of a leather carp and a koi carp, and is being described by British newspapers as one of the biggest goldfish in the world, as photos of Hackett holding up his prize with both hands made headlines. Arkansas Online, 27 Nov. 2022 At one point an enormous koi swishes across the rear wall. Sarah L. Kaufman, Washington Post, 21 Oct. 2022 An infinity koi pond around the edge of the property acts as a kind of moat. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, 26 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'koi.' 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

1727, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of koi was in 1727

Dictionary Entries Near koi

Cite this Entry

“Koi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a carp that has been bred to be of various bright colors and is often stocked in ornamental ponds

More from Merriam-Webster on koi

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