[ skuhl-pin ]

noun,plural (especially collectively) scul·pin, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) scul·pins.
  1. any small, freshwater fish of the genus Cottus, of the family Cottidae, having a large head with one or more spines on each side; bullhead.

  2. any of numerous marine fishes of the same family.

  1. (in California) a common scorpionfish, Scorpaena guttata.

Origin of sculpin

First recorded in 1665–75; origin uncertain Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sculpin in a sentence

  • Cuttlefishes dart rapidly about, and skates, sculpins, and other fishes display their curious forms.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide | Augusta Foote Arnold
  • Sculpins, flounders, in fact almost any kind of fish, can be used.

  • I see my oldest boy in the dooryard with the toes of his boots yawed open like sculpins' mouths.

  • A string of bait, consisting mainly of flounders and sculpins, was tied into each trap.

  • They were all out in the cove shortly, with lines down close to the muddy bottom, for flounders and sculpins.

    The Rival Campers Afloat | Ruel Perley Smith

British Dictionary definitions for sculpin


/ (ˈskʌlpɪn) /

nounplural -pin or -pins
  1. US and Canadian any of various fishes of the family Cottidae (bullheads and sea scorpions)

Origin of sculpin

C17: of unknown origin

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