Definition of piranha in English:


Line breaks: pi|ranha
Pronunciation: /pɪˈrɑːnə
, -njə/


  • A deep-bodied South American freshwater fish that typically lives in shoals and has very sharp teeth that are used to tear flesh from prey. It has a reputation as a fearsome predator.
    • Serrosalmus and other genera, family Characidae: several species
    More example sentences
    • Two well-known fish with multiple rows of teeth are piranhas and sharks.
    • Some items are curios, such as a necklace of peccary teeth and a piranha jaw fashioned into a cutting tool.
    • I would rather throw myself to piranhas than have that reputation.


mid 18th century: via Portuguese from Tupi pirá 'fish' + sainha 'tooth'.

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