piranha

[ pi-rahn-yuh, -ran- or, often, -rah-nuh, -ran-uh ]
/ pɪˈrɑn yə, -ˈræn- or, often, -ˈrɑ nə, -ˈræn ə /

noun, plural pi·ra·nhas, (especially collectively) pi·ra·nha.

any of several small South American freshwater fishes of the genus Serrasalmus that eat other fish and sometimes plants but occasionally also attack humans and other large animals that enter the water.

QUIZZES

THIS WEEK’S WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ IS POSITIVELY FELICIFIC

Do you study our Words of the Day with great assiduity? See how many you remember from March 30 to April 5!
Question 1 of 7
transliterate
Also called caribe.

Origin of piranha

1865–70; < Portuguese < Tupi
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for piranha

British Dictionary definitions for piranha

piranha

piraa

/ (pɪˈrɑːnjə) /

noun

any of various small freshwater voracious fishes of the genus Serrasalmus and related genera, of tropical America, having strong jaws and sharp teeth: family Characidae (characins)

Word Origin for piranha

C19: via Portuguese from Tupi: fish with teeth, from pirá fish + sainha tooth
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