[ skwur-uhl-fish, skwuhr- or, especially British, skwir- ]

noun,plural (especially collectively) squir·rel·fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) squir·rel·fish·es.
  1. any of several brightly colored, nocturnal fishes of the family Holocentridae, inhabiting shallow waters of tropical reefs, especially the reddish Holocentrus ascensionis of the West Indies, armed with sharp spines and scales.

Origin of squirrelfish

First recorded in 1795–1805; perhaps after the sound it makes out of water, likened to a squirrel's bark

Words Nearby squirrelfish

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use squirrelfish in a sentence

  • Tiny demoiselles fluttered around them, and a pair of red squirrelfish watched from the shelter of a purple coral fan.

    The Wailing Octopus | Harold Leland Goodwin

British Dictionary definitions for squirrelfish


/ (ˈskwɪrəlˌfɪʃ) /

nounplural -fish or -fishes
  1. any tropical marine brightly coloured teleost fish of the family Holocentridae

Origin of squirrelfish

C18: so called because it can make a squirrel-like noise

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