noun, plural (especially collectively) black·fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) black·fish·es.
  1. any of various dark-colored fishes, as the tautog, Tautoga onitis, or the sea bass, Centropristes striatus.
  2. a small, freshwater food fish, Dallia pectoralis, found in Alaska and Siberia, noted for its ability to survive frozen in ice.
  3. black whale.

Origin of blackfish

An Americanism dating back to 1680–90; black + fish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for blackfish

Contemporary Examples of blackfish

Historical Examples of blackfish

  • Great numbers of blackfish and porpoises abound in this vicinity.

    The Land of Thor

    J. Ross Browne

  • "We thought we might get some blackfish at the end of the reef," Scotty replied.

    Smugglers' Reef

    John Blaine

  • Hauling in blackfish isn't going to find out why the Sea Belle was wrecked.

    Smugglers' Reef

    John Blaine

  • But it was neither a whale nor a blackfish—not even a small one—nor was it a shark.

    Creatures of the Abyss

    Murray Leinster

  • Here he made two sticklebacks, two graylings, and two blackfish.

British Dictionary definitions for blackfish


noun plural -fish or -fishes
  1. a minnow-like Alaskan freshwater fish, Dallia pectoralis, related to the pikes and thought to be able to survive prolonged freezing
  2. a female salmon that has recently spawnedCompare redfish (def. 1)
  3. any of various other dark fishes, esp the luderick, a common edible Australian estuary fish
  4. another name for pilot whale
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