noun, plural (especially collectively) king·fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) king·fish·es.

any of several marine food fishes of the drum family, especially of the genus Menticirrhus, found off the E coast of the U.S.
Also called white croaker. a marine food fish, Genyonemus lineatus, found off the Californian coast.
a large game fish, Seriola grandis, found in Australia and New Zealand, closely related to the yellowtail.
any of various other fishes noted especially for their size.
Informal. a person regarded as a leader or authority: a kingfish in Democratic Party circles.

Origin of kingfish

First recorded in 1740–50; king + fish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kingfish

Contemporary Examples of kingfish

Historical Examples of kingfish

  • Mostly they are caught by accident while drags are set for kingfish or barracuda.

  • For its size, the kingfish is considered the gamest of all salt-water fishes.

    Bass, Pike, Perch, and Others

    James Alexander Henshall

  • But as I fish for sailfish with a free-running reel, of course I am exasperated when a kingfish takes hold.

  • Kingfish are savage strikers and they almost invariably hook themselves when the drag is set.

  • Put two kingfish on a buttered platter or pan, season with salt and pepper, add a glass of white wine, put in oven and bake.

British Dictionary definitions for kingfish


noun plural -fish or -fishes

any marine sciaenid food and game fish of the genus Menticirrhus, occurring in warm American Atlantic coastal waters
another name for opah
any of various other large food fishes, esp the Spanish mackerel
Also called: (NZ) haku a large food and game fish, Seriola lalandi lalandi, of New Zealand waters
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