Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

catfish

[kat-fish]
See more synonyms for catfish on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural (especially collectively) cat·fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) cat·fish·es.
  1. any of the numerous fishes of the order or suborder Nematognathi (or Siluroidei), characterized by barbels around the mouth and the absence of scales.
  2. a wolffish of the genus Anarhichas.
  3. any of various other fishes having a fancied resemblance to a cat.
  4. Slang. a person who assumes a false identity or personality on the Internet, especially on social media websites, as to deceive, manipulate, or swindle.
Show More
verb (used with or without object)
  1. Slang. to deceive, swindle, etc., by assuming a false identity or personality online: He fell in love with her online before he realized he'd been catfished.
Show More

Origin of catfish

First recorded in 1605–15; cat + fish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for catfish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for catfish

catfish

noun plural -fish or -fishes
  1. any of numerous mainly freshwater teleost fishes having whisker-like barbels around the mouth, esp the silurids of Europe and Asia and the horned pouts of North America
  2. another name for wolffish
Show More
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

Word Origin and History for catfish

n.

1610s, from cat (n.) + fish (n.). Probably so called for its "whiskers."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper