Definition of filefish in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfīlˌfiSH/

noun (plural same or filefishes)

A fish with a dorsal spine and rough scales, related to the triggerfishes and occurring in tropical and sometimes temperate seas.
  • Numerous genera and species, family Balistidae (or Monacanthidae).
Example sentences
  • Sponges constituted the majority of stomach contents of angelfishes and the filefish.
  • Every sort of reef fish competed for meals, the oddest being the boxfish, trunkfish and filefish, all trying to feed through pursed lips.
  • Scrawled filefish seem enormous and, of course, the ubiquitous titan and the inappropriately named yellowmargin triggerfish are active everywhere.


Late 18th century: from file3 (because of its rough skin, suggesting the surface of a file).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: file·fish

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