follow Dictionary.com

8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

dogfish

[dawg-fish, dog-] /ˈdɔgˌfɪʃ, ˈdɒg-/
noun, plural (especially collectively) dogfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) dogfishes.
1.
any of several small sharks, especially of the genera Mustelus and Squalus, that are destructive to food fishes.
2.
any of various other fishes, as the bowfin.
Origin
1425-1475
1425-75; earlier dokefyche; late Middle English. See dog, fish
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for dog fish

dogfish

/ˈdɒɡˌfɪʃ/
noun (pl) -fish, -fishes
1.
any of several small spotted European sharks, esp Scyliorhinus caniculus (lesser spotted dogfish): family Scyliorhinidae
2.
any small shark of the family Squalidae, esp Squalus acanthias (spiny dogfish), typically having a spine on each dorsal fin
3.
any small smooth-skinned shark of the family Triakidae, esp Mustelus canis (smooth dogfish or smooth hound)
4.
a less common name for the bowfin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dog fish

dogfish

n.

a name for various types of small shark, late 15c., dokefyche, from dog (n.) + fish (n.). Said to be so called because they hunt in packs. This was the image of sharks in classical antiquity as well.

But in the Mediterranean, among the Greeks and Romans of antiquity, closer contact with sharks had left an impression of vicious dogs of the sea. Thus, Pliny's canis marinus. The metaphor of the dog spread to the North to dominate the European image of the shark, from the Italian pescecane and French chien de mer to the German Meerhund and Hundfisch and English sea dog and dogfish. [Tom Jones, "The Xoc, the Sharke and the Sea Dogs," in "Fifth Palenque Round Table, 1983," edited by Virginia M. Field, 1985.]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for dogfish

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dog

5
6
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for dog fish