Definition of piranha in English:


Syllabification: pi·ra·nha
Pronunciation: /pəˈrän(y)ə

noun (plural same or piranhas)

A deep-bodied South American freshwater fish that typically lives in schools and has very sharp teeth that are used to tear flesh from prey. It has a reputation as a fearsome predator.
  • Serrasalmus and other genera, family Characidae: several species, including the red (or red-bellied) piranha (S. natterei)
More example sentences
  • Two well-known fish with multiple rows of teeth are piranhas and sharks.
  • Some items are curios, such as a necklace of peccary teeth and a piranha jaw fashioned into a cutting tool.
  • I would rather throw myself to piranhas than have that reputation.


mid 18th century: via Portuguese from Tupi pirá 'fish' + sainha 'tooth'.

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