[skwur-uh l-fish, skwuhr- or, esp. British, skwir-]
- any of several brightly colored, nocturnal fishes of the family Holocentridae, inhabiting shallow waters of tropical reefs, especially the reddish Holocentrus ascensionis of the West Indies, armed with sharp spines and scales.
Origin of squirrelfish
First recorded in 1795–1805; perhaps after the sound it makes out of water, likened to a squirrel's bark
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any tropical marine brightly coloured teleost fish of the family Holocentridae
C18: so called because it can make a squirrel-like noise
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