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[bahr-buh l] /ˈbɑr bəl/
a slender, external process on the jaw or other part of the head of certain fishes.
any of various cyprinoid fishes of the genus Barbus, especially B. barbus, of European waters.
Origin of barbel
late Middle English
1400-1450; late Middle English barbell < Middle French barbel (French barbeau) < Vulgar Latin *barbellus, equivalent to Late Latin barb(us) a barbel (fish) (akin to Latin barba beard) + Latin -ellus -elle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for barbel


any of several slender tactile spines or bristles that hang from the jaws of certain fishes, such as the catfish and carp
any of several European cyprinid fishes of the genus Barbus, esp B. barbus, that resemble the carp but have a longer body and pointed snout
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin barbus, from barba beard
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
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barbel in Science
A slender, whiskerlike feeler extending from the head of certain fish, such as the catfish. It is used for touch and taste.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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