stone·​fish ˈstōn-ˌfish How to pronounce stonefish (audio)
: any of several small spiny venomous bony fishes (family Synanceiidae, especially genus Synanceja) common about coral reefs of the tropical Indo-Pacific

Illustration of stonefish

Illustration of stonefish

Examples of stonefish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The stonefish produces intense vasoconstriction. Manasee Wagh, Popular Mechanics, 19 Jan. 2023 Wispy waspfish are a species of stonefish, a group inhabiting Indian and Pacific coastal waters that are among the deadliest in the oceans. Charles Choi, Discover Magazine, 13 Apr. 2018 Ambush predators, like stonefish and scorpionfish, are good examples: The broken patterns of fluorescence on these fishes may help them blend into a fluorescing reef background. Smithsonian, 25 July 2019 The blade can lock all the way in and out, or hinge at a variety of angles, and can range from about half to 2.5 times the width of the eye of any stonefish. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, 14 Apr. 2018 The lead author of the study, W. Leo Smith, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Kansas, has kept stonefish in aquaria. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, 4 June 2018 In addition to poison dart frogs and venomous snakes, visitors will see exhibits on Snow White, and dangerous creatures in the Aquarium (lionfish, scorpionfish, stonefish, rabbitfish and more). Sarah Maiellano, USA TODAY, 4 June 2018 There are 134 described species of stonefish, and by Smith's observation, all of them have some form of lachrymal saber. Aj Willingham, CNN, 12 Apr. 2018 Under fluorescent light, the saber of one species of stonefish even glowed green (other regions of its head glows red). Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, 14 Apr. 2018 See More

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

1896, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of stonefish was in 1896

Dictionary Entries Near stonefish

Cite this Entry

“Stonefish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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