Share this entry

Share this page

lamprey

Syllabification: lam·prey
Pronunciation: /ˈlamprē
 
/

Definition of lamprey in English:

noun (plural lampreys)

An eellike aquatic jawless vertebrate that has a sucker mouth with horny teeth and a rasping tongue. The adult is often parasitic, attaching itself to other fish and sucking their blood.
  • Family Petromyzonidae: several genera and species
Example sentences
  • These conditions support a rich diversity of invertebrate life and important game fisheries, such as brown trout, brook lamprey, salmon, crayfish, and otter.
  • Modern adult lampreys measure anywhere from about 6 to 40 inches long.
  • Several fish, such as the sea lamprey, Atlantic sturgeon, alewife, Atlantic salmon and American eel live most of their lives in the ocean but enter freshwater to spawn.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French lampreie, from medieval Latin lampreda, probably from Latin lambere 'to lick' + petra 'stone' (because the lamprey attaches itself to stones by its mouth).

Words that rhyme with lamprey

angry • chapelry • cavalry

Definition of lamprey in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈemyələs
adjective
seeking to emulate or imitate someone or something