Share this entry

Share this page

hagfish

Line breaks: hag|fish
Pronunciation: /ˈhaɡfɪʃ
 
/

Definition of hagfish in English:

noun (plural same or hagfishes)

A primitive jawless marine vertebrate distantly related to the lampreys, with a slimy eel-like body, a slit-like mouth surrounded by barbels, and a rasping tongue used for feeding on dead or dying fish.
  • Class Myxini and family Myxinidae: several genera, in particular Myxine, and numerous species
Example sentences
  • In contrast, the vertebrate insulin gene became a metabolic regulatory action of insulin early during vertebrate evolution since insulin regulates glucose homeostasis even in hagfishes and lampreys.
  • These first vertebrates lacked jaws, like the living hagfish and lampreys.
  • They are represented now only by the lampreys, eel-like forms that are parasites on fish, and the hagfish, also eel-like but feeding on dead or dying animals.

Origin

early 17th century: from hag1 + fish1.

Definition of hagfish in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…