noun, plural (especially collectively) but·ter·fish·es, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) but·ter·fish.

a small, flattened, marine food fish, Peprilus triacanthus, of Atlantic coastal waters of the U.S., having very small scales and smooth skin.
the rock gunnel.See under gunnel1.

Origin of butterfish

First recorded in 1665–75; butter + fish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for butterfish

Historical Examples of butterfish

  • Strain and return to the kettle; add the flounder and butterfish in pieces as large as possible, ½ lb.

    Allied Cookery

    Grace Glergue Harrison and Gertrude Clergue

British Dictionary definitions for butterfish


noun plural -fish or -fishes

an eel-like blennioid food fish, Pholis gunnellus, occurring in North Atlantic coastal regions: family Pholidae (gunnels). It has a slippery scaleless golden brown skin with a row of black spots along the base of the long dorsal fin
Also called: greenbone, (Māori) marari an edible reef fish, Coridodax pullus, of esp S New Zealand. It has a slippery purplish-grey to olive-green skin and is often found browsing on kelp
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