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[bar-uh-koo-duh] /ˌbær əˈku də/
noun, plural (especially collectively) barracuda (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) barracudas for 1; barracudas for 2.
any of several elongated, predaceous, tropical and subtropical marine fishes of the genus Sphyraena, certain species of which are used for food.
Slang. a treacherous, greedy person.
Origin of barracuda
1670-80; < American Spanish < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for barracuda
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The harpoon had taken the barracuda near the tail, fortunately hitting the spine.

    The Wailing Octopus Harold Leland Goodwin
  • They looked like barracuda to me, only they were almost as silvery as a tarpon.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • The wounds inflicted by the barracuda are exceedingly severe and sometimes fatal.

  • I did not know then, as I know now, that barracuda grow to twelve feet in the Caribbean.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • About ten-thirty of this most delightful and favorable day we ran into a school of barracuda.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • Mostly they are caught by accident while drags are set for kingfish or barracuda.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • We worked around him awhile, but he would not take a barracuda or a flying-fish.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • His tail was big like that of a tuna, and his head sharper, more wolfish than a barracuda.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
British Dictionary definitions for barracuda


noun (pl) -da, -das
any predatory marine teleost fish of the mostly tropical family Sphyraenidae, esp Sphyraena barracuda. They have an elongated body, strong teeth, and a protruding lower jaw
Word Origin
C17: from American Spanish, of unknown origin
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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Word Origin and History for barracuda

1670s, from American Spanish barracuda, perhaps from a Carib word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for barracuda



A predator; a treacherous person: barracudas at the casino

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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