pilot fish


: a pelagic carangid fish (Naucrates ductor) that has dark vertical stripes and often swims in company with a shark

Examples of pilot fish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Youngblood plays Baby's best pal William, a quick-witted pilot fish who can be quite the jokester. Katie Campione, PEOPLE.com, 25 Mar. 2021 Not unlike sharks and the pilot fish that clean their teeth, the Kardashian family and the design duo Dolce & Gabbana have established a symbiotic relationship wherein everyone is benefiting. Rory Satran, WSJ, 26 Sep. 2022 As an attorney, Caplan thought of himself as a pilot fish. Elizabeth MacBride, Forbes, 4 June 2022 In the middle, a truck driven by Jeff Deese serves as a pilot fish for the tanker. al, 28 Feb. 2022 That will be decided by the biggest of the big fish; the rest of us will follow, attaching like pilot fish. Richard E. Farley, Town & Country, 26 July 2015

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

1592, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pilot fish was in 1592

Dictionary Entries Near pilot fish

Cite this Entry

“Pilot fish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pilot%20fish. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

pilot fish

: a fish with a narrow body and a widely forked tail that often swims near a shark

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