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butterfish

[buht-er-fish] /ˈbʌt ərˌfɪʃ/
noun, plural (especially collectively) butterfishes (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) butterfish.
1.
a small, flattened, marine food fish, Peprilus triacanthus, of Atlantic coastal waters of the U.S., having very small scales and smooth skin.
2.
the rock gunnel.
See under gunnel1 .
Origin
1665-1675
1665-75; butter + fish
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for butterfish

butterfish

/ˈbʌtəˌfɪʃ/
noun (pl) -fish, -fishes
1.
an eel-like blennioid food fish, Pholis gunnellus, occurring in North Atlantic coastal regions: family Pholidae (gunnels). It has a slippery scaleless golden brown skin with a row of black spots along the base of the long dorsal fin
2.
Also called greenbone, (Māori) marari. an edible reef fish, Coridodax pullus, of esp S New Zealand. It has a slippery purplish-grey to olive-green skin and is often found browsing on kelp
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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Encyclopedia Article for butterfish

any of the thin, deep-bodied, more or less oval and silvery fishes of the family Stromateidae (order Perciformes). Butterfishes are found in warm and temperate seas and are characterized by a small mouth, forked tail, and a single dorsal fin. Like the related rudderfishes (Centrolophidae) and man-of-war fishes (Nomeidae), they also have peculiar, toothed outpocketings in the esophagus. (In some systems of classification Centrolophidae and Nomeidae are included in Stromateidae.)

Learn more about butterfish with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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