Definition of monkfish in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmʌŋkfɪʃ/

noun (plural same or monkfishes)

1A bottom-dwelling anglerfish of European waters.
  • Lophius piscatorius, family Lophiidae.
Example sentences
  • There was a time when anglers went to Tralee Bay just to catch the true monkfish.
  • Deep-water species such as the monkfish and the orange roughy are at risk, as it can take decades before a fish is old enough to breed.
  • An albino monkfish was also landed and while this is rare in itself and even more unique feature of this fish is the fact that it had no eyes.
2 see angel shark.
Example sentences
  • Anglers are wrongly referred to as monkfish by fishmongers, though monkfish are in fact angel sharks.
  • Mr Flannery told the Marine Times that fish such as the true monkfish or angelshark and some species of rays have been rapidly declining in numbers, in the bay, in recent years.
3 [mass noun] The monkfish or angel shark as food.
Example sentences
  • There were dozens of steaks, chicken, duck and pork dishes on offer as well as a large seafood selection, which included grilled scallops, monkfish and rainbow trout.
  • For the main course I had the aromatic steamed monkfish with basmati rice, sautéed crisp vegetables and black bean sauce for €30.
  • I use either monkfish or sea bass for this dish, depending upon which is seasonal and better value on the day.


Late 16th century: from monk and fish1 (from the supposed resemblance of the head of the fish to that of a cowled monk).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: monk|fish

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