• synonyms


noun, plural (especially collectively) hag·fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) hag·fish·es.
  1. any eellike, marine cyclostome of the order Myxiniformes, having undeveloped eyes, a barbel-rimmed, circular mouth, and horny teeth for boring into the flesh of fishes to feed on their interior parts.
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Origin of hagfish

First recorded in 1605–15; hag1 + fish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hagfish

Historical Examples of hagfish

  • In gill-nets in Monterey Bay great mischief is done by hagfish (Polistotrema stouti).

    A Guide to the Study of Fishes, Volume 1 (of 2)

    David Starr Jordan

  • In the California hagfish, Polistotrema stouti, great numbers of these eggs have been found in the stomachs of the males.

  • The "oral cirri" suggest somewhat the barbels of the nose and mouth of a hagfish.

British Dictionary definitions for hagfish


noun plural -fish or -fishes
  1. any eel-like marine cyclostome vertebrate of the family Myxinidae, having a round sucking mouth and feeding on the tissues of other animals and on dead organic materialOften shortened to: hag
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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