star·​fish ˈstär-ˌfish How to pronounce starfish (audio)
: any of a class (Asteroidea) of echinoderms that have a body of usually five arms radially arranged about a central disk and feed largely on mollusks (such as oysters)

called also sea star

Examples of starfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Befitting a movie spun off from a TV show, which was spun off of a wildly popular children’s song, Baby Shark’s Big Movie (out Dec. 8), the film will feature a music-heavy plot, centered around a nefarious aspiring pop starfish, named Stariana (voiced by Ashley Tisdale). Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 23 Nov. 2023 Rebel Wilson Posts Sweet Moment Swimming with Daughter in Rooftop Pool As the camera continued to pan over the table, the clip showed balloons, flowers and cards, as well as a cake decorated with starfish and fishtails made of icing. Jenny Haward, Peoplemag, 5 Nov. 2023 For some animals, that means a brain, but starfish don’t have that organ. Lori Youmshajekian, Scientific American, 3 Nov. 2023 Outfit a standard Christmas tree with glittering starfish and simple green flowers to remind you of the warmer days to come. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Oct. 2023 Your days will look something like this: Boat from island to island to snorkel in the bright azure water, pick a new palm tree to lay your towel under, or swim along sandbars strewn with starfish. Karen I. Chen, Travel + Leisure, 6 Oct. 2023 There were around 10 baby sea stars, each the spitting image of their parent, which like many starfish was probably hermaphroditic. Darren Incorvaia, New York Times, 4 Aug. 2023 Michaela Coel dazzled in a Schiaparelli covered with what looked liked 10,000 pieces of gold embellishments and a starfish hanging off her nipple. Jada Yuan, Washington Post, 2 May 2023 For marine wildlife, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia is home to countless species of colorful fish, mollusks, starfish, turtles, dolphins, and sharks. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 12 Oct. 2023 See More

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

1538, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of starfish was in 1538

Dictionary Entries Near starfish

Cite this Entry

“Starfish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


star·​fish ˈstär-ˌfish How to pronounce starfish (audio)
: any of a class of echinoderms that have five arms arranged evenly around a central disk and feed largely on mollusks (as oysters)

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