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[hal-uh-buh t, hol-] /ˈhæl ə bət, ˈhɒl-/
noun, plural (especially collectively) halibut (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) halibuts.
either of two large flatfishes, Hippoglossus hippoglossus, of the North Atlantic, or H. stenolepis, of the North Pacific, used for food.
any of various other similar flatfishes.
Also, holibut.
Origin of halibut
1350-1400; Middle English halybutte, equivalent to haly (variant of holy) + butte flat fish (< MD); so called because eaten on holy days. Compare Dutch heilbot, German Heilbutt Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for halibut


noun (pl) -buts, -but
the largest flatfish: a dark green North Atlantic species, Hippoglossus hippoglossus, that is a very important food fish: family Pleuronectidae
any of several similar and related flatfishes, such as Reinhardtius hippoglossoides (Greenland halibut)
Word Origin
C15: from haliholy (because it was eaten on holy days) + butte flat fish, from Middle Dutch butte
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for halibut

large flatfish, early 15c., perhaps from hali "holy" (see holy) + butte "flatfish;" supposedly so called from its being eaten on holy days (cf. cognate Dutch heilbot, Low German heilbutt, Swedish helgeflundra, Danish helleflynder). For second element see butt (n.4).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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