Definition of killifish in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɪlɪfɪʃ/

noun (plural same or killifishes)

A small toothcarp of fresh or brackish water, typically brightly coloured. They are mainly native to America and include many popular aquarium fishes.
  • Families Cyprinodontidae (or Fundulidae), which includes numerous genera of egg-laying killifishes, and Poeciliidae, which includes a few live-bearing species.
Example sentences
  • Each year since 1960, more than 35 tropical American species of fishes, including catfishes, characins, electric fishes, killifishes, and cichlids, have been newly described and named.
  • Like other visitors, he sees the bustle of life around the mudflats from clams, snails, and crabs, to shorebirds and long-legged waders, and gobies and killifish in the shallows of the estuary.
  • The only primarily freshwater killifish in the Northeast is banded killifish.


Early 19th century: apparently from kill1 and fish1.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: killi|fish

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