star·​fish | \ ˈstär-ˌfish How to pronounce starfish (audio) \

Definition of starfish

: 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 Activities for the week also include watching a video about life under the ocean, and then making a starfish out of yarn Tuesday. Steve Sadin,, 18 Mar. 2022 André Leon Talley would love both that and a comment about a chocolate starfish. Brian Moylan, Vulture, 5 Nov. 2021 During her active career (1924 to 1984), Bernasconi was one of Argentina’s top echinoderm specialists, particularly known for her studies of marine invertebrates such as starfish, sea urchins and brittle stars. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Mar. 2022 The starfish glowed orange, and dolphins frolicked in the waves next to us. Washington Post, 15 Apr. 2022 Police in Colombia rescued more than 1,000 animals, including birds, starfish and tarantulas, in an anti-smuggling operation supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 12 Apr. 2022 In 2013, a mystery illness disintegrated the starfish of America’s Western Seaboard: These unlikely predators are the coastal equivalent of pumas, and in their absence, their sea-urchin prey were free to devour offshore kelp forests. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 7 Apr. 2022 Researchers found the starfish in the remains of a round structure called the Cuauhxicalco. Jane Recker, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Mar. 2022 The Endurance expedition also captured a Brisingid starfish, a type of deep-sea dweller that filter feeds and thrives at murky depths. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 16 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'starfish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of starfish

1538, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for starfish

Time Traveler

The first known use of starfish was in 1538

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Dictionary Entries Near starfish

star field


starfish flower

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Statistics for starfish

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Starfish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for starfish


star·​fish | \ ˈstär-ˌfish How to pronounce starfish (audio) \

Kids Definition of starfish

: a sea animal that usually has five arms that spread out from a central disk and feeds mostly on mollusks

More from Merriam-Webster on starfish

Nglish: Translation of starfish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of starfish for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about starfish


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