puffer fish


: any of a family (Tetraodontidae) of chiefly tropical scaleless marine bony fishes which can distend themselves to a globular form and most of which are highly poisonous

called also blowfish, globefish, swellfish

compare fugu
: any of various fish of the same order (Tetraodontiformes) as the puffer fish

Examples of puffer fish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Last weekend, Dominguez fit right in, dressed as a billowing psychedelic puffer fish that enveloped most of his face. Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2024 The Bartz sculptures, which started with a puffer fish in 2012, were inspired by a trip to Florida. Staff Report, Twin Cities, 20 Jan. 2024 Hammerhead worms secrete tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin also found in puffer fish, which can cause a rash if touched with bare hands. Emily Deletter, USA TODAY, 26 July 2023 Custom itineraries could include a morning hike or a whale watching outlook, followed by snorkeling to spot sea turtles and puffer fish. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 26 Apr. 2023 The fact that your interviewer went into puffer fish mode and tried to shame you for committing some alleged breach of business etiquette should absolutely trip your warning system. Washington Post, 26 Aug. 2021 The puffer fish Fugu rubripes has the smallest genome of any vertebrate. Bob Holmes, Discover Magazine, 21 May 2018 The Hiramatsu puts a particular focus on food—the hotel actually started out as a restaurant—and makes use of local produce on Shima to curate a unique menu from spiny lobster, fugu (puffer fish), ormers and rock oysters. Ashley Ogawa Clarke, Vogue, 27 Oct. 2022 Similar to their cousin, the puffer fish, the porcupinefish is covered in strong spines and has the ability to swallow up water to puff up its body into an orb when threatened. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 17 Aug. 2022

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

1869, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of puffer fish was in 1869

Dictionary Entries Near puffer fish

Cite this Entry

“Puffer fish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puffer%20fish. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

puffer fish

: any of various scaleless fishes chiefly of tropical seas which can puff themselves up with air or water when threatened and most of which are highly poisonous

called also blowfish, puffer

Medical Definition

puffer fish

variants or pufferfish
: any of a family (Tetraodontidae) of chiefly tropical, scaleless, marine fishes that when threatened can distend themselves to a large, roundish form and most of which are highly poisonous

called also blowfish, globefish

see fugu
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