Definition of hagfish in English:

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hagfish

Pronunciation: /ˈhaɡˌfiSH/

noun (plural same or hagfishes)

A primitive jawless marine vertebrate distantly related to the lampreys, with a slimy eellike body, a slitlike 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.

Origin

Early 17th century: from hag1 + fish1.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: hag·fish

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