• synonyms


[tuh-lah-pee-uh, -ley-]
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  1. any freshwater cichlid of the genus Tilapia, of African waters: an important food fish.
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Origin of tilapia

< New Latin (1849); ulterior origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for tilapia


  1. any mouthbrooding cichlid fish of the African freshwater genus Tilapia: used as food fishes
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Word Origin

C18: from New Latin
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 tilapia


1849, formed in Modern Latin, perhaps from Greek tilon, name of a fish in Aristotle, + apios "distant."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper