three-spined stickleback


: a stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) chiefly of fresh and brackish waters that typically has three dorsal spines

called also three-spine stickleback

Illustration of three-spined stickleback

Illustration of <span class=syl>three<span class=sylbreak>-</span>spined stickleback</span>
  • three-spined stickleback

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The parasitic cestode Schistocephalus solidus requires a much larger host—specifically, a three-spined stickleback fish—to grow in and then a bird to breed in. Madhusree Mukerjee, Scientific American, 8 Sep. 2022 The three-spined stickleback, a small fish native to the Northern Hemisphere, looks for physical appeal—but it’s not based on shallow aesthetics. Brian Handwerk, National Geographic, 22 Oct. 2020 And its protagonist is a small, unassuming fish – the three-spined stickleback. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 5 Apr. 2012 This rich history has turned the three-spined stickleback into a supermodel of evolutionary biology. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 5 Apr. 2012 If all goes well (for the parasite), a three-spined stickleback then eats the copepod. Madhusree Mukerjee, Scientific American, 8 Sep. 2022 The spring-fed lake, where Spanish explorers camped in 1776, is now home to natives like the three-spined stickleback fish, western pond turtles, freshwater mussels and chorus frogs that sing in the evening. San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Jan. 2017 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1769, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of three-spined stickleback was in 1769

Dictionary Entries Near three-spined stickleback

Cite this Entry

“Three-spined stickleback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

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