• synonyms


  1. any freshwater fish of the genus Thymallus, related to the trouts but having a longer and higher, brilliantly colored dorsal fin.
  2. any of several grayish or brownish satyr butterflies.
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Origin of grayling

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at gray1, -ling1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grayling

Historical Examples of grayling

  • The grayling is the deadest-hearted and the foolishest-headed fish that swims.

    Angling Sketches

    Andrew Lang

  • “Must have been grayling in all these upper Missouri waters,” nodded Billy.

  • And you ought to have seen the grayling once, in all these branches!

  • Do you see that grayling between the bridge there, over the white bar?

  • I have known one man to say he had caught ninety grayling out of one hole.

British Dictionary definitions for grayling


noun plural -ling or -lings
  1. any freshwater salmonoid food fish of the genus Thymallus and family Thymallidae, of the N hemisphere, having a long spiny dorsal fin, a silvery back, and greyish-green sides
  2. any butterfly of the satyrid genus Hipparchia and related genera, esp H. semele of Europe, having grey or greyish-brown wings
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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 grayling


trout-like freshwater fish, early 14c., from gray + diminutive suffix -ling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper