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See more synonyms for hagfish on Thesaurus.com
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

  • 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