adjective, fish·i·er, fish·i·est.

like a fish in shape, smell, taste, or the like.
consisting of fish.
abounding in fish.
Informal. improbable, as a story; unlikely.
Informal. of questionable character; suspicious: The sudden knockout was fishy.
dull and expressionless: fishy eyes.

Nearby words

  1. fishtail,
  2. fishtank,
  3. fishway,
  4. fishwife,
  5. fishworm,
  6. fisk,
  7. fisk, james,
  8. fiske,
  9. fiske, john,
  10. fiske, minnie maddern

Origin of fishy

First recorded in 1540–50; fish + -y1

Related formsfish·i·ly, adverbfish·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fishy

British Dictionary definitions for fishy


adjective fishier or fishiest

of, involving, or suggestive of fish
abounding in fish
informal suspicious, doubtful, or questionabletheir leaving at the same time looked fishy
dull and lifelessa fishy look
Derived Formsfishily, adverbfishiness, noun

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 fishy



late 15c., from fish (n.) + -y (2). Sense of "shady, questionable" is first recorded 1840, perhaps from the notion of "slipperiness," or of giving off a bad odor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper