- any eellike marine or freshwater fish of the order Petromyzoniformes, having a circular, suctorial mouth with horny teeth for boring into the flesh of other fishes to feed on their blood.
Origin of lamprey
Examples from the Web for lamprey
She is as transparent as a lamprey eel, then, or a youthful sardine?Quo Vadis
The lamprey was also with the Romans a pet fish: it is now rare.
The striking peculiarity of the lamprey is its life-history.
Compare the life-history of the lamprey and of the tunicate.
In the lamprey the brain is more like that of the ordinary fish.A Guide to the Study of Fishes, Volume 1 (of 2)
David Starr Jordan
- any eel-like cyclostome vertebrate of the family Petromyzonidae, having a round sucking mouth for clinging to and feeding on the blood of other animalsAlso called: lamper eel See also sea lamprey
Word Origin and History for lamprey
c.1300 (c.1200 as a surname?), from Old French lamproie, from Medieval Latin lampreda, from Late Latin lampetra "lamprey," of uncertain origin, usually explained as literally "lick-rock," from Latin lambere "to lick" (see lap (v.1)) + petra "rock" (see petrous). The animals attach themselves to things with their sucker-like mouths.