lamprey

noun
lam·​prey | \ ˈlam-prē How to pronounce lamprey (audio) , -ˌprā \
plural lampreys

Definition of lamprey

: any of a family (Petromyzontidae) of eel-shaped freshwater or anadromous jawless fishes that include those cyclostomes having well-developed eyes and a large disk-shaped suctorial mouth armed with horny teeth

called also lamprey eel

Examples of lamprey in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The lamprey stars in one of this book’s many fascinating vignettes of violence and mayhem—or the threat of it. James Romm, WSJ, "‘A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ Review: Et tu, Brute?," 12 Mar. 2021 The lamprey is one of a handful of animals that exist on the boundary between vertebrates and our invertebrate forebears. Philip Kiefer, Popular Science, "These fossilized lamprey hatchlings disprove an age-old evolutionary theory," 11 Mar. 2021 The agency informed residents that the lamprey is a local fish and entirely natural. Fox News, "Blood-sucking ‘vampire fish’ spawning in Vermont, experts say they are safe," 26 June 2020 The lamprey provides certain ecological benefits, with their corpses providing important nutrients into freshwater ecosystems. Fox News, "Blood-sucking ‘vampire fish’ spawning in Vermont, experts say they are safe," 26 June 2020 The suction-cup mouth and teeth helps a lamprey burrow into (and feed on) the flesh of trout, sturgeon, whitefish, ciscoes, burbot, walleye, catfish, and salmon, among others. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "10 Common Parasites and Diseases Found in Game Fish (and What You Need to Know About Them)," 27 May 2020 And walk along Klamath Beach to search for lamprey eels, Chinook salmon, eagles, osprey, pelicans and sea lions. Sarah Sekula, USA TODAY, "California redwood road trip: 5 memorable ways to experience the massive trees," 13 Feb. 2020 Having explored its new environment, the lamprey settled onto the pebbles at the bottom of the tank. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Why the World Needs Bloodsucking Creatures," 2 Dec. 2019 Staff members, their hands protected with gloves, carefully lifted one of the lampreys and plopped it into a tall tank. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Why the World Needs Bloodsucking Creatures," 2 Dec. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lamprey

Middle English, from Anglo-French lampreie, from Medieval Latin lampreda

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Time Traveler for lamprey

Time Traveler

The first known use of lamprey was in the 14th century

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Statistics for lamprey

Last Updated

25 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lamprey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lamprey. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for lamprey

lamprey

noun
lam·​prey | \ ˈlam-prē How to pronounce lamprey (audio) \
plural lampreys

Kids Definition of lamprey

: a water animal that looks like an eel but has a sucking mouth with no jaws

More from Merriam-Webster on lamprey

Nglish: Translation of lamprey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lamprey

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