rat·​fish ˈrat-ˌfish How to pronounce ratfish (audio)
: chimaera
especially : a silvery iridescent white-spotted chimaera (Hydrolagus colliei) of cold deep waters of the Pacific coast of North America

Examples of ratfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Both animals belong firmly to the branch of jawed fish called the chondrichthyans, the group of cartilaginous fish that include modern sharks, rays and ratfish. Asher Elbein, New York Times, 28 Sep. 2022 Today’s sharks, rays and deep-sea ratfish all belong to this group, defined by skeletons that are primarily made of flexible cartilage rather than hardened bone tissue. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Apr. 2021 Also known as chimaera or ratfish, ghost sharks have long fins and vacant eyes that make even great whites seem friendly. National Geographic, 12 June 2017

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

1882, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ratfish was in 1882

Dictionary Entries Near ratfish

Cite this Entry

“Ratfish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ratfish. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!