Definition of demersal in English:


Line breaks: de|mer¦sal
Pronunciation: /dɪˈməːs(ə)l


  • (Chiefly of fish) living close to the floor of the sea or a lake: demersal fish Often contrasted with pelagic.
    More example sentences
    • The starkest fact highlighting the plight of fishing is that the amount of adult demersal fish - those living on the seabed - has fallen by 90 per cent since the early 1970s.
    • A small beginning has been made to developing the theory of metapopulations of demersal fishes, frequently in the context of reef fish management.
    • These fish have demersal eggs, but do not bury the eggs and do not attach them to specific substrates.


late 19th century: from Latin demersus (past participle of demergere 'submerge, sink', from de- 'down' + mergere 'plunge') + -al.

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