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[gohld-fish] /ˈgoʊldˌfɪʃ/
noun, plural (especially collectively) goldfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) goldfishes.
a small, usually yellow or orange fish, Carassius auratus, of the carp family, native to China, bred in many varieties and often kept in fishbowls and pools.
garibaldi (def 2).
Origin of goldfish
1690-1700; gold + fish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for goldfish
  • For many bosses, this sense of managing in a goldfish bowl has become particularly onerous.
  • Its a game not designed for those with the attention span of a goldfish.
  • One can use the common goldfish to show how this segment of our fishtank came to be.
  • The same article could have been written about any animal species, including goldfish.
  • These properties explain why ice floats on water, and how goldfish can survive at the bottom of a frozen pond over the winter.
  • At car shows, excited kids crowd around his vehicles, pointing at the goldfish swimming inside.
  • High school students wary of dissection may be in the clear, thanks to a newly bred see-through goldfish.
  • She used to have a goldfish, and hopes to get a dog someday.
  • We tried to bring up three children, and later a fourth, living in what was essentially a goldfish bowl in the public eye.
  • Harvard has seen all things, even goldfish, come and go.
British Dictionary definitions for goldfish


noun (pl) -fish, -fishes
a freshwater cyprinid fish, Carassius auratus, of E Europe and Asia, esp China, widely introduced as a pond or aquarium fish. It resembles the carp and has a typically golden or orange-red coloration
any of certain similar ornamental fishes, esp the golden orfe See orfe
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 goldfish

1690s, from gold + fish (n.); introduced into England from China, where they are native. A goldfish bowl, figurative of a situation of no privacy, was in use by 1935.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Generation of Little Descriptions for Improving and Sustaining Health
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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