ras·​bo·​ra raz-ˈbȯr-ə How to pronounce rasbora (audio)
: any of a genus (Rasbora) of tiny brilliantly colored cyprinid freshwater fishes often kept in tropical aquariums

Word History


borrowed from New Latin (originally as specific epithet of Cyprinus rasbora), of obscure origin

Note: The name rasbora was introduced as a specific epithet of the genus Cyprinus by the British zoologist Francis Buchanan (known after 1815 as Francis Hamilton), in the authorʼs An Account of the Fishes Found in the River Ganges and its Branches (Edinburgh, 1822), pp. 329-30. Buchanan-Hamilton adapted a number of fish taxa from vernacular names in Bengali, with which he was well acquainted, but if he did so in the case of rasbora, he did not indicate such, and the word does not appear to correspond to any current fish name in Bengali.

First Known Use

1931, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rasbora was in 1931

Dictionary Entries Near rasbora

Cite this Entry

“Rasbora.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rasbora. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

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