porcupine fish


: any of several bony fishes (family Diodontidae) that have sharp spines covering the body and inflate themselves into a sphere when threatened
especially : a spotted chiefly tropical fish (Diodon hystrix) that is olive to brown above with white below

Examples of porcupine fish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This X-ray image shows a porcupine fish in its defensive posture--filled with water or air and deploying sharp spikes--and then in its normal, relaxed state. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010

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

1681, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of porcupine fish was in 1681

Dictionary Entries Near porcupine fish

Cite this Entry

“Porcupine fish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/porcupine%20fish. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

porcupine fish

: any of several fish chiefly of tropical seas that have the body covered with spines and that can puff themselves up with air or water like a balloon when threatened

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