wrasse

noun
\ ˈras How to pronounce wrasse (audio) \
plural wrasses also wrasse

Definition of wrasse

: any of a large family (Labridae) of elongate usually brilliantly colored marine bony fishes that usually bury themselves in sand at night and include important food fishes as well as a number of popular aquarium fishes

Examples of wrasse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web My focus swivels from them to the sharks to the organic brilliance of the coral to a massive green-and-blue humphead wrasse, a fish that can reach 400 pounds, silhouetted in the stormy light above. John Briley, Washington Post, "Diving into the tranquility of Tahiti," 21 Feb. 2020 The fish are a new species of what's known as fairy wrasses. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Scientists discovered 71 new species this year. Here are some of their favorites," 7 Dec. 2019 In the ocean, groupers, wrasse and eels form a multispecies team, working together to flush out and consume prey in bouts of collaborative hunting. Barbara J. King, Scientific American, "Deception in the Animal Kingdom," 12 Sep. 2019 These days the cave provides a home for Mediterranean sea creatures including starfish and rainbow wrasse. National Geographic, "Ibiza beyond the clubs: 10 can’t-miss experiences," 16 Aug. 2019 In that study, scientists observed a striped species of fish known as the cleaner wrasse. Sigal Samuel, Vox, "Breakups really suck, even if you’re a fish," 20 July 2019 When Chris Taylor presses play, footage of blue wrasse and greater amberjack fills the screen. Carrie Arnold, National Geographic, "Shipwrecks may help tropical fish adapt to climate change," 10 May 2019 Alex Jordan, an evolutionary biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany, thinks this fish — a cleaner wrasse — has just passed a classic test of self-recognition. Quanta Magazine, "A ‘Self-Aware’ Fish Raises Doubts About a Cognitive Test," 12 Dec. 2018 One species of wrasse, for instance, has been filmed engaging in a marine version of tool use. Jonathan Balcombe, Scientific American, "Fishes Use Problem-Solving and Invent Tools," 1 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of wrasse

circa 1672, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wrasse

Corn gwragh, wragh hag, wrasse

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wrasse

Time Traveler for wrasse

Time Traveler

The first known use of wrasse was circa 1672

See more words from the same year

Statistics for wrasse

Last Updated

29 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wrasse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wrasse. Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on wrasse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wrasse

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wrasse

Comments on wrasse

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!