piranha

play
noun pi·ra·nha \ pə-ˈrä-nə ; -ˈrän-yə , -ˈran- \

Definition of piranha

plural piranhas or piranha
:any of various usually small South American characin fishes (genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus) that have very sharp teeth, often appear in schools, and include some that may attack and inflict dangerous wounds upon humans and large animals called also caribe

Recent Examples of piranha from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'piranha.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of piranha

Portuguese, from Tupi pirã́ja, pirã́nʸa, from pirá fish + ã́ja, ã́nʸa tooth

Other Fishes Terms


PIRANHA Defined for English Language Learners

piranha

play
noun

Definition of piranha for English Language Learners

  • : a small South American fish that has sharp teeth and that eats the flesh of animals


PIRANHA Defined for Kids

piranha

play
noun pi·ra·nha \ pə-ˈrä-nə \

Definition of piranha for Students

:a small South American freshwater fish that has very sharp teeth, often occurs in groups, and may attack human beings and animals in the water


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