Definition of catfish in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkatˌfiSH/

noun (plural same or catfishes)

1A freshwater or marine fish with whiskerlike barbels around the mouth, typically bottom-dwelling.
  • Order Siluriformes: many families, including the Eurasian family Siluridae and the large North American family Ictaluridae.
Example sentences
  • The presence of year-round rivers also provides Iraq with freshwater fish such as catfish and members of the genus Barbus.
  • Other fishes, such as catfishes and burbots, probably eat the young shovelnose sturgeons.
  • Especially well adapted to low or nonexistent light levels are several new species of electric fishes and catfishes.
2 another term for wolffish.


(often as noun catfishing)
1 [no object] Fish for catfish: with the Mississippi River far below its normal level, the catfishing kept getting better and better
More example sentences
  • I do a little catfishing and try to take a surf fishing trip at least once a year.
  • He and a friend were catfishing in Mill Creek when they came upon something really big.
  • Of course, I know him; we catfish together.
2 [with object] US informal Lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona: he was being catfished by a cruel prankster a victim of catfishing
Originally with reference to the 2010 documentary film Catfish, which concerns such a relationship
More example sentences
  • The athlete put out a statement saying he was essentially catfished, but doubt is still rampant.
  • We also discovered that he had been catfishing Gus the whole time.
  • Why doesn't she stick around to help him figure out who is catfishing him?

Words that rhyme with catfish


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cat·fish

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.