sun·​fish | \ ˈsən-ˌfish How to pronounce sunfish (audio) \

Definition of sunfish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

2 : any of numerous North American freshwater bony fishes (family Centrarchidae, especially genus Lepomis) usually with a deep compressed body and metallic luster



Definition of Sunfish (Entry 2 of 2)

used for a small light sailboat that has one sail

Examples of sunfish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The sunfish were all green sunfish, which is a more aggressive species that has a tendency to make its way into all sorts of water bodies. Brian Lisik,, "Nothing fishy -- just a pipe leak -- at Plum Creek’s south pond in Brunswick," 9 July 2019 These generally include fish like bluegill, perch, crappie and sunfish. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Gladwin fisherman caught with more than 1,400 panfish in garage," 22 Aug. 2019 Such barriers always accentuate my feelings of difference from the river otters, sunfish and rainbow trout, to whom both clock time and floating partitions are a mere curiosity. New York Times, "The Magic of Swimming Holes," 18 Aug. 2019 Or, even a giant sunfish placidly cruising below the surface. Amanda Milkovits,, "Just passing through: Why sharks don’t seem to stop in Rhode Island on their way to Cape Cod," 23 July 2019 Early in the season, Genz targets emerging weed beds that hold pre- and post-spawn sunfish. Steve Hoffman / Forum News Service, Twin Cities, "Minnesota angler’s ‘Holy Boat’ utilizes ice-fishing tactics in the summertime," 22 June 2019 West Indian manatees, Florida scrub jays, gopher tortoises, black bears, herons and fish, such as gar and sunfish, can all be found in Blue Spring State Park. Patrick Connolly,, "Florida Springs Guide: Blue Spring State Park," 25 June 2019 That total includes about 645 game fish, such as bass or sunfish, and a large number of small, non-game fish, such as shiners and minnows and the slackwater darters. Dennis Pillion |,, "Thousands of fish killed after sewage spill in Athens," 5 June 2019 More than once in this pool, a lure intended for a bass or sunfish has been grabbed by a catfish. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Catch the good times rolling on the rivers," 12 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of sunfish


circa 1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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sunfish family

Statistics for sunfish

Last Updated

9 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for sunfish

The first known use of sunfish was circa 1630

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More Definitions for sunfish



English Language Learners Definition of sunfish

: a large fish with a round body that lives in the sea


sun·​fish | \ ˈsən-ˌfish How to pronounce sunfish (audio) \
plural sunfish or sunfishes

Kids Definition of sunfish

: a small and brightly colored North American freshwater fish related to the perch

More from Merriam-Webster on sunfish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sunfish Encyclopedia article about sunfish

Comments on sunfish

What made you want to look up sunfish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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