any of various cold-blooded, aquatic vertebrates, having gills, commonly fins, and typically an elongated body covered with scales.
(loosely) any of various aquatic animals.
the flesh of fishes used as food.
Fishes, Astronomy, Astrology. the constellation or sign of Pisces.
Informal. a person: an odd fish; a poor fish.
a long strip of wood, iron, etc., used to strengthen a mast, joint, etc.
Cards Slang. an incompetent player whose incompetence can be exploited.
Slang. a dollar: He sold the car for 500 fish.
a new prison inmate.
a high school or college freshman; frosh.
to catch or attempt to catch (any species of fish or the like).
to try to catch fish in (a stream, lake, etc.): Let's fish the creek.
to draw, as by fishing (often followed by up or out): He fished a coin out of his pocket for the boy.
to search through, as by fishing.
to secure (an anchor) by raising the flukes.
to reinforce (a mast or other spar) by fastening a spar, batten, metal bar, or the like, lengthwise over a weak place.
to catch or attempt to catch fish, as by angling or drawing a net.
to search carefully: He fished through all his pockets but his wallet was gone.
to seek to obtain something indirectly or by artifice: to fish for compliments; to fish for information.
to search for or attempt to catch onto something under water, in mud, etc., by the use of a dredge, rake, hook, or the like.
to attempt to recover detached tools or other loose objects from an oil or gas well.
fish out, to deplete (a lake, stream, etc.) of fish by fishing.
Idioms about fish
drink like a fish, to drink alcoholic beverages to excess: Nobody invites him out because he drinks like a fish.
fish in troubled waters, to take advantage of troubled or uncertain conditions for personal profit.
fish or cut bait, to choose a definite course of action, especially to decide whether to participate in or retreat from an activity.
fish out of water, a person out of their proper or accustomed environment: He felt like a fish out of water in an academic atmosphere.
neither fish nor fowl, having no specific character or conviction; neither one nor the other.
other fish to fry, other matters requiring attention: When it was time to act, they had other fish to fry.
- fish·less, adjective
- fish·like, adjective
- out·fish, verb (used with object)
- un·fished, adjective
- fiche, fish
Other definitions for Fish (2 of 2)
Hamilton, 1808–93, U.S. statesman: secretary of state 1869–77.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use fish in a sentence
On March 20, 2019, fish caught in Ohio’s Cuyahoga River were declared safe to eat by federal environmental regulators.
The new work provides important context for data being collected on fish stocks.Species may swim thousands of kilometers to escape ocean heat waves | Carolyn Gramling | August 10, 2020 | Science News
Sims and Berni wonder how these ideas might be explored in vertebrates like mice and zebra fish.Random Search Wired Into Animals May Help Them Hunt | Liam Drew | June 11, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
For example, fishes who start living and evolving in unlit caves often lose their eyes, because the costs of developing them outweigh their advantages.Evolution: Why It Seems to Have a Direction and What to Expect Next | Matthew Wills | June 10, 2020 | Singularity Hub
This makes the online world an exceptionally volatile environment, where big fishes swallow the small ones.SEO on a shoestring budget: What small business owners can do to win | Ali Faagba | June 4, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
When Chérif got out of prison, he worked at the fish counter of a supermarket.
“The government just wanted to catch the big fish [in the Juarez cartel] and they ignored everything in between,” Lozoya said.An Informant, a Missing American, and Juarez’s House of Death: Inside the 12-Year Cold Case of David Castro | Bill Conroy | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Kocurek documented the scene with notes and diagrams, and called the U.S. fish and Wildlife Service.
A U.S. fish and Wildlife officer corroborated another account.
A fish and Wildlife special agent collected the bodies of two birds at the site, a redhead duck and a mourning dove.
He must be The saltest fish that swims the sea.And, oh!He has a secret woe!
He looked up from his fish and replied, somewhat cuttingly, "By contesting a borough and getting elected."Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
Smoking, the angry and fuming king protests, had made our manners as rude as those of the fish-wives of Dieppe.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
But what if I catch the fish by using a hired boat and a hired net, or by buying worms as bait from some one who has dug them?The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice | Stephen Leacock
The Taube has been bothering us again, but wound up its manœuvres very decently by killing some fish for our dinner.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
British Dictionary definitions for fish (1 of 2)
any of a large group of cold-blooded aquatic vertebrates having jaws, gills, and usually fins and a skin covered in scales: includes the sharks and rays (class Chondrichthyes : cartilaginous fishes) and the teleosts, lungfish, etc (class Osteichthyes : bony fishes)
(in combination): fishpond Related adjectives: ichthyic, ichthyoid, piscine
any of various similar but jawless vertebrates, such as the hagfish and lamprey
(not in technical use) any of various aquatic invertebrates, such as the cuttlefish, jellyfish, and crayfish
the flesh of fish used as food
informal a person of little emotion or intelligence: a poor fish
short for fishplate
Also called: tin fish an informal word for torpedo (def. 1)
a fine kettle of fish an awkward situation; mess
drink like a fish to drink (esp alcohol) to excess
have other fish to fry to have other activities to do, esp more important ones
like a fish out of water out of one's usual place
make fish of one and flesh of another Irish to discriminate unfairly between people
neither fish, flesh, nor fowl neither this nor that
(intr) to attempt to catch fish, as with a line and hook or with nets, traps, etc
(tr) to fish in (a particular area of water)
to search (a body of water) for something or to search for something, esp in a body of water
(intr foll by for) to seek something indirectly: to fish for compliments
- See also fish out
- fishable, adjective
- fishlike, adjective
British Dictionary definitions for FISH (2 of 2)
fluorescence in situ hybridization, a technique for detecting and locating gene mutations and chromosome abnormalities
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
Scientific definitions for fish
Any of numerous cold-blooded vertebrate animals that live in water. Fish have gills for obtaining oxygen, a lateral line for sensing pressure changes in the water, and a vertical tail. Most fish are covered with scales and have limbs in the form of fins. Fish were once classified together as a single group, but are now known to compose numerous evolutionarily distinct classes, including the bony fish, cartilaginous fish, jawless fish, lobe-finned fish, and placoderms.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with fish
In addition to the idioms beginning with fish
- fish for
- fishing expedition
- fish in troubled waters
- fish or cut bait
- fish out
- fish out of water, a
- fish story
- big fish in a small pond
- cold fish
- drink like a fish
- goldfish bowl
- kettle of fish
- like shooting fish in a barrel
- neither fish nor fowl
- not the only fish in the sea
- other fish to fry
- smell fishy
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.