swordtail

noun

sword·​tail ˈsȯrd-ˌtāl How to pronounce swordtail (audio)
: a small brightly marked Central American live-bearer (Xiphophorus helleri of the family Poeciliidae) often kept in tropical aquariums and bred in many colors

Examples of swordtail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hermit Fiddler crabs wave their claws, swordtail fish flash their swordtails, manakins leap and buzz their wings. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 30 July 2010 For years, my former Ph.D. student Ryan Earley and I were obsessed with power and spying in groups of a tiny fish called the swordtail. Lee Alan Dugatkin, Fortune, 27 Jan. 2023

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

1858, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of swordtail was in 1858

Dictionary Entries Near swordtail

Cite this Entry

“Swordtail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swordtail. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

swordtail

noun
sword·​tail ˈsō(ə)rd-ˌtāl How to pronounce swordtail (audio)
ˈsȯ(ə)rd-
: a small brightly marked Central American fish often kept in tropical aquariums and bred in many colors

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