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catfish

[kat-fish] /ˈkætˌfɪʃ/
noun, plural (especially collectively) catfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) catfishes.
1.
any of the numerous fishes of the order or suborder Nematognathi (or Siluroidei), characterized by barbels around the mouth and the absence of scales.
2.
a wolffish of the genus Anarhichas.
3.
any of various other fishes having a fancied resemblance to a cat.
4.
Slang. a person who assumes a false identity or personality on the Internet, especially on social-networking websites, as to deceive, manipulate, or swindle.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
5.
Slang. to deceive, swindle, etc., by assuming a false identity or personality online:
He fell in love with her online before he realized he'd been catfished.
Origin
1605-1615
1605-15; cat + fish
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cat-fish

catfish

/ˈkætˌfɪʃ/
noun (pl) -fish, -fishes
1.
any of numerous mainly freshwater teleost fishes having whisker-like barbels around the mouth, esp the silurids of Europe and Asia and the horned pouts of North America
2.
another name for wolffish
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 cat-fish

catfish

n.

1610s, from cat (n.) + fish (n.). Probably so called for its "whiskers."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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5
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