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See more synonyms for lungfish on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural (especially collectively) lung·fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) lung·fish·es.
  1. any of various slender, air-breathing fishes of the order (or subclass) Dipnoi, of rivers and lakes in Africa, South America, and Australia, having a lunglike air bladder as well as gills and growing to a length of 3 to 6 feet (0.9 to 1.8 meters).
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Origin of lungfish

First recorded in 1880–85; lung + fish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lungfish

Historical Examples

  • The lungfish have a curious habit which keeps them over the dry season.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • The light from the star that died when the meteor was created fell on Earth before the first lungfish ventured from the sea.

    All Day September

    Roger Kuykendall

  • His purpose was the study of the wonderful Australian fauna, the oviparous mammals, marsupials, and ceratodus (lungfish).

  • In certain swampy regions these lungfish swim freely in the water of the marshes.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • In this Silurian time certain of these lungfish were perhaps trapped in the basin in the marsh by the uplifting of the border.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

British Dictionary definitions for lungfish


noun plural -fish or -fishes
  1. any freshwater bony fish of the subclass Dipnoi, having an air-breathing lung, fleshy paired fins, and an elongated body. The only living species are those of the genera Lepidosiren of South America, Protopterus of Africa, and Neoceratodus of Australia
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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

Word Origin and History for lungfish


1883, from lung + fish (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lungfish in Science


  1. Any of several tropical freshwater fish of the order or subclass Dipnoi that, in addition to having gills, have lunglike organs for breathing air. Lungfish have a long, narrow body, and certain species can survive periods of drought inside a mucus-lined cocoon in the mud. The lungfish and the coelacanths are the only living lobe-finned fishes.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.