silverfish

noun

sil·​ver·​fish ˈsil-vər-ˌfish How to pronounce silverfish (audio)
1
: any of various silvery fishes (such as a tarpon or silverside)
2
: any of various small wingless insects (order Thysanura)
especially : one (Lepisma saccharina) found in houses and sometimes injurious especially to sized papers or starched clothes

Examples of silverfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Besides being a general nuisance, cockroaches and flies can spread diseases such as salmonella and dysentery, while termites, silverfish and ants chip away at the structure of your home. Lori Keong, Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2023 Meanwhile, regular cleaning, vacuuming and dusting can keep other insects like moths and silverfish (plus their larvae and eggs) from becoming a recurring problem. Lori Keong, Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2023 Other common places to find silverfish are in storage boxes, bookshelves, wallpaper, or under sinks, Young says. Brittany Anas, House Beautiful, 8 June 2023 Within a day, cockroaches, ants, fleas, silverfish, and a whole load of other insects will start dropping like flies. Kat De Naoum, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Apr. 2023 According to Ortho, protection lasts up to 12 months and can kill ants on contact as well as other bugs including cockroaches, spiders, fleas, ticks, scorpions, beetles, silverfish, centipedes and millipedes, so there’s no need to buy separate sprays. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 18 Apr. 2022 These include ants, fleas, crickets, spiders, earwigs, millipedes, silverfish, mites, palmetto bugs, and sow bugs. Kat De Naoum, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 Apr. 2023 Be aware that the silverfish will consume anything that is high in sugar, starch or protein. Washington Post, 18 Dec. 2021 Check out our guides to the best mouse traps and how to get rid of silverfish. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 12 Mar. 2023 See More

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

1703, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of silverfish was in 1703

Dictionary Entries Near silverfish

Cite this Entry

“Silverfish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/silverfish. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

silverfish

noun
sil·​ver·​fish ˈsil-vər-ˌfish How to pronounce silverfish (audio)
: any of various small wingless insects
especially : one that is found in houses and feeds on paper products, clothing, and other starchy materials

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