eel

[eel]
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.

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 eely

Historical Examples of eely

  • He climbed over the sedge and eely oarweeds and sat on a stool of rock, resting his ashplant in a grike.

    Ulysses

    James Joyce

  • If we had a fight with some other boys, Eely and Dicksee would know, and we should have no chance to fight them then.

    Burr Junior

    G. Manville Fenn


British Dictionary definitions for eely

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
Derived Formseel-like, adjectiveeely, adjective

Word Origin for eel

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 eely

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with eely

eel

see slippery as an eel.

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