• synonyms


or char·a·cid

  1. any freshwater fish of the family Characidae, of Africa and Central and South America.
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Origin of characin

1880–85; < New Latin Characinidae name of family, equivalent to Characin(us) the genus (charac- (< Greek charak-, stem of chárax pointed stake, a sea fish) + -inus -in1) + -idae -idae
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for characin



  1. any small carnivorous freshwater cyprinoid fish of the family Characidae, of Central and South America and Africa. They are similar to the carps but more brightly coloured
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Word Origin

C19: from New Latin Characinidae, from characinus, from Greek kharax a fish, probably the sea bream
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