Definition of killifish in English:


Syllabification: kil·li·fish
Pronunciation: /ˈkilēˌfiSH

noun (plural same or killifishes)

  • A small carplike fish of fresh, brackish, or salt water, typically brightly colored. They are mainly native to America and include many popular aquarium fishes.
    • Families Fundulidae and Cyprinodontidae, which include numerous genera of egg-laying killifishes
    More 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 kill2 and fish1.

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