• synonyms


  1. a carnivorous ganoid fish, Amia calva, found in sluggish fresh waters of eastern North America.
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Origin of bowfin

An Americanism dating back to 1835–45; bow2 + fin1
Also called grindle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bowfin

Historical Examples

  • Such fishes as the garpike and the bowfin have lung-like air-bladders and gulp air from the surface of the water.

    A Guide to the Study of Fishes, Volume 1 (of 2)

    David Starr Jordan

  • In the bowfin (Amia calva), trematodes existed in enormous numbers.

  • Near relatives of the bowfin flourished in the Mesozoic, among them some with a forked tail, and some with a very long one.

British Dictionary definitions for bowfin


  1. a primitive North American freshwater bony fish, Amia calva, with an elongated body and a very long dorsal fin: family Amiidae
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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