killifish

[kil-ee-fish]
noun, plural (especially collectively) kil·li·fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) kil·li·fish·es.
  1. any of several small, oviparous cyprinodont fishes, especially of the genus Fundulus, found in salt, brackish, and fresh waters.
  2. any of several livebearers.

Origin of killifish

1805–15, Americanism; perhaps kill2 + -i- (unexplained) + fish
Also called kil·lie [kil-ee] /ˈkɪl i/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for killifish

killifish

noun plural -fish or -fishes
  1. any of various chiefly American minnow-like cyprinodont fishes of the genus Fundulus and related genera, of fresh and brackish waters: used as aquarium fishes, to control mosquitoes, and as anglers' bait

Word Origin for killifish

C19: see kill ², fish
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