Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

eel

[eel]
See more synonyms for eel on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural (especially collectively) eel, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) eels.
  1. any of numerous elongated, snakelike marine or freshwater fishes of the order Apodes, having no ventral fins.
  2. any of several similar but unrelated fishes, as the lamprey.
Show More

Origin of eel

before 1000; Middle English ele, Old English ēl, ǣl; cognate with Dutch aal, German Aal, Old Norse āll
Related formseel·like, adjectiveeel·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for eel

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for eel

eel

noun
  1. any teleost fish of the order Apodes (or Anguilliformes), such as the European freshwater species Anguilla anguilla, having a long snakelike body, a smooth slimy skin, and reduced fins
  2. any of various other animals with a long body and smooth skin, such as the mud eel and the electric eel
  3. an evasive or untrustworthy person
Show More
Derived Formseel-like, adjectiveeely, adjective

Word Origin

Old English ǣl; related to Old Frisian ēl, Old Norse āll, Old High German āl
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 eel

n.

Old English æl, from Proto-Germanic *ælaz (cf. Old Frisian -el, Middle Dutch ael, Dutch aal, Old Saxon and Old High German al, German Aal, Old Norse all), of unknown origin, with no certain cognates outside Germanic. Used figuratively for slipperiness from at least 1520s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with eel

eel

see slippery as an eel.

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.