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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.


Early 17th century: from hag1 + fish1.

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