see also: FISH, Fish
  • enPR: fĭsh, IPA: /fɪʃ/
  • (New Zealand) IPA: /fɘʃ/


  1. (countable) A cold-blooded vertebrate animal that lives in water, moving with the help of fins and breathing with gills.
    Salmon is a fish.
    The fishmonger sells all the fishes of the world.
    The ichthyologists study the fish of the world.
    We have many fish in our aquarium.
  2. (archaic or loosely) Any animal (or any vertebrate) that lives exclusively in water.
  3. (uncountable) The flesh of the fish used as food.
    The seafood pasta had lots of fish but not enough pasta.
  4. (uncountable) A card game in which the object is to obtain cards in pairs or sets of four (depending on the variation), by asking the other players for cards of a particular rank.
  5. (uncountable, derogatory, slang) A woman.
  6. (countable, slang) An easy victim for swindling.
  7. (countable, poker slang) A bad poker player. Compare shark (a good poker player).
  8. (countable, nautical) A makeshift overlapping longitudinal brace, originally shaped roughly like a fish, used to temporarily repair or extend a spar or mast of a ship.
  9. (nautical) A purchase used to fish the anchor.
  10. (countable, nautical) A torpedo.
    • 1977, Richard O'Kane, Clear the Bridge: The War Patrols of the U.S.S. Tang, Ballantine Books (2003), page 344:
      The second and third fish went to the middle of her long superstructure and under her forward deck.
  11. (zoology) A paraphyletic grouping of the following extant taxonomic groups:
    1. Class Myxini, the hagfish (no vertebra)
    2. Class Petromyzontida, the lampreys (no jaw)
    3. Within infraphylum Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates (also including Tetrapoda)
      1. Class Chondrichthyes, cartilaginous fish such as sharks and rays
      2. Superclass Osteichthyes, bony fish.
  12. (cartomancy) The thirty-fourth Lenormand card.
Synonyms Related terms Noun

fish (plural fishes)

  1. A period of time spent fishing.
    The fish at the lake didn't prove successful.
  2. An instance of seeking something.
    Merely two fishes for information told the whole story.

fish (fishes, present participle fishing; past and past participle fished)

  1. (intransitive) To hunt fish or other aquatic animals.
    • 19th c., anonymous, "The Bonny Ship the 'Diamond'"
      It's cheer up, my lads, let your hearts never fail,
      For the bonny ship the Diamond goes a-fishing for the whale.
    She went to the river to fish for trout.
  2. (transitive) To search (a body of water) for something other than fish.
    They fished the surrounding lakes for the dead body.
  3. (fishing, transitive) To use as bait when fishing.
  4. (intransitive) To (attempt to) find or get hold of an object by searching among other objects.
    Why are you fishing through my things?
    He was fishing for the keys in his pocket.
  5. (intransitive, followed by "for" or "around for") To talk to people in an attempt to get them to say something, or seek to obtain something by artifice.
    The detective visited the local pubs fishing around for more information.
    The actors loitered at the door, fishing for compliments.
    • 1820, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Oedipus Tyrannus; Or, Swellfoot The Tyrant: A Tragedy in Two Acts:
      Laoctonos is fishing for a compliment,
      But ’tis his due. Yes, you have drunk more wine,
      And shed more blood, than any man in Thebes.
  6. (intransitive, cricket) Of a batsman, to attempt to hit a ball outside off stump and miss it.
  7. (nautical, transitive) To repair (a spar or mast) by fastening a beam or other long object (often called a fish) over the damaged part (see fish#Noun|Noun above).
    • 1970, James Henderson, The Frigates, an account of the lesser warships of the wars from 1793 to 1815, Wordsworth (1998), page 143:
      […] the crew were set to replacing and splicing the rigging and fishing the spars.
  8. (nautical, transitive) To hoist the flukes of.
    • 1860, Accounts and Papers of the House of Commons (page 214)
      Found that the cause of the ship's having drifted on the night of the 19th, was from the bight of the chain span (used to fish the anchor,) having slipped between the shank and upper fluke, thereby preventing the lower fluke from opening […]
  • (try to catch a fish) angle, drop in a line
  • (try to find something) rifle, rummage
  • (attempt to gain (compliments, etc)) angle
Translations Translations
  • Russian: лови́ть
Translations Translations
  • Russian: выу́живать
  • Russian: выла́вливать

fish (plural fishes)

  1. (obsolete) A counter, used in various games.


fish (uncountable)

  1. (genetics) Acronym of fluorescent in situ hybridization a molecular cytogenetic technique used to identify whether a DNA sample has a specific sequence.

Pronunciation Proper noun
  1. Surname

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