sail·​fish ˈsāl-ˌfish How to pronounce sailfish (audio)
: any of a genus (Istiophorus, especially I. platypterus) of billfishes having a very large dorsal fin

Examples of sailfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This reel is capable of subduing tuna, sharks, sailfish, marlin, and other blue-water species. Jerry Audet, Field & Stream, 19 July 2023 Farther out in the Gulf waters, offshore trophies such as tuna, kingfish, sailfish, and marlin prove bountiful game. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 20 June 2023 The Get Lost fishing team won the first-place prize of $2,500 and a Naked Warrior trophy for catching and releasing four sailfish. Emmett Hall,, 4 May 2021 There are plentiful big tuna in the lagoon right off shore, while a bit further out are blue and black marlin (the largest species) wahoo, sailfish, mahi mahi and giant trevally. Larry Olmsted, Forbes, 4 May 2023 The sailfish is a large, blue-gray fish found in the warmer waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. Monica Cull, Discover Magazine, 1 Aug. 2022 The researchers captured footage of a 100-pound sailfish blitzing the surface of the ocean from a depth of 200 feet in pursuit of a small tuna. Sage Marshall, Field & Stream, 13 Feb. 2023 When flattened, their dorsal fin can help turn the sailfish into a torpedo that shoots through the water. Monica Cull, Discover Magazine, 1 Aug. 2022 While fishing off the coast of Florida, a 73-year-old-woman was injured by a sailfish. Monica Cull, Discover Magazine, 1 Aug. 2022 See More

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

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sailfish was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near sailfish

Cite this Entry

“Sailfish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


sail·​fish -ˌfish How to pronounce sailfish (audio)
: any of a genus of large sea fishes that are related to the swordfish and marlins and have long slender jaws and a very large fin like a sail on the back

More from Merriam-Webster on sailfish

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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