Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[dawg-fish, dog-] /ˈdɔgˌfɪʃ, ˈdɒg-/
noun, plural (especially collectively) dogfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) dogfishes.
any of several small sharks, especially of the genera Mustelus and Squalus, that are destructive to food fishes.
any of various other fishes, as the bowfin.
Origin of dogfish
1425-75; earlier dokefyche; late Middle English. See dog, fish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dogfish
Historical Examples
  • And we hadn't more'n got our lines over the side than we struck into a school of dogfish.

    Cape Cod Stories Joseph C. Lincoln
  • All through July the Tarpaulin Islanders had been troubled with dogfish.

    Jim Spurling, Fisherman

    Albert Walter Tolman
  • Chiloscyllium modestum is the dogfish of the Australian fishermen.

  • They wuz sorted in th' big river but the drive was fouled in the dogfish.

  • Were they huge gulls or windbags, cormorants or cranes, devils or dogfish?

  • It was like a dogfish and a mackerel––the Henry just eat her up.

    The Seiners

    James B. (James Brendan) Connolly
  • The general form of these bars at an early stage of development is shewn in the dogfish (Scyllium) in fig. 329.

  • I wouldn't undertake to trot a dogfish on my knee or sing him to sleep with a pennyr'yal hymn, Captain Candage.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • The eating of skate accounts for large families, and a dogfish secures an heir male, if eaten in the month of May.

    Cornish Saints and Sinners J. Henry Harris
  • When the dogfish came the men pulled up their anchors and rowed a mile or so away, for where the dogfish pursues all others fly.

    The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams
British Dictionary definitions for dogfish


noun (pl) -fish, -fishes
any of several small spotted European sharks, esp Scyliorhinus caniculus (lesser spotted dogfish): family Scyliorhinidae
any small shark of the family Squalidae, esp Squalus acanthias (spiny dogfish), typically having a spine on each dorsal fin
any small smooth-skinned shark of the family Triakidae, esp Mustelus canis (smooth dogfish or smooth hound)
a less common name for the bowfin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dogfish

a name for various types of small shark, late 15c., dokefyche, from dog (n.) + fish (n.). Said to be so called because they hunt in packs. This was the image of sharks in classical antiquity as well.

But in the Mediterranean, among the Greeks and Romans of antiquity, closer contact with sharks had left an impression of vicious dogs of the sea. Thus, Pliny's canis marinus. The metaphor of the dog spread to the North to dominate the European image of the shark, from the Italian pescecane and French chien de mer to the German Meerhund and Hundfisch and English sea dog and dogfish. [Tom Jones, "The Xoc, the Sharke and the Sea Dogs," in "Fifth Palenque Round Table, 1983," edited by Virginia M. Field, 1985.]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for dogfish

Word Value for dogfish

Scrabble Words With Friends