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[uh-nad-ruh-muh s] /əˈnæd rə məs/
(of fish) migrating from salt water to spawn in fresh water, as salmon of the genera Salmo and Oncorhynchus (distinguished from catadromous).
Origin of anadromous
1745-55; < Greek anádromos running upward. See ana-, -drome, -ous Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for anadromous
  • Big dams stop anadromous fish, the best-known of which are salmon, returning to their spawning-grounds to breed.
  • Coho salmon is an anadromous fish which needs a period in the marine environment to complete its life cycle.
  • Sticklebacks are anadromous fish, meaning they spend part of their lives in both freshwater and in the ocean.
  • Both species are anadromous and undertake upriver spawning migrations during spring.
  • Sea-run cutthroat trout and steelhead are also anadromous members of the salmonid family.
  • Construction activities also must be coordinated with critical spawning periods of anadromous fish.
  • Protect waterfowl nesting and molting areas, anadromous streams, and prehistoric heritage sites.
  • Pacific lampreys are anadromous, meaning that they live in both fresh and salt water.
British Dictionary definitions for anadromous


(of fishes such as the salmon) migrating up rivers from the sea in order to breed Compare catadromous
Word Origin
C18: from Greek anadromos running upwards, from ana- + dromos a running
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for anadromous

of fish, "ascending a river to spawn" (as salmon do), 1753, from Latinized form of Greek anadromos "running upward," from ana "up, back" (see ana-) + dramein "to run" (see dromedary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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anadromous in Science
Relating to fish, such as salmon or shad, that migrate up rivers from the sea to breed in fresh water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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