killifish

[kil-ee-fish]
noun, plural (especially collectively) killifish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) killifishes.
1.
any of several small, oviparous cyprinodont fishes, especially of the genus Fundulus, found in salt, brackish, and fresh waters.
2.
any of several livebearers.
Also called killie.
Compare least killifish.


Origin:
1805–15, Americanism; perhaps kill2 + -i- (unexplained) + fish

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World English Dictionary
killifish (ˈkɪlɪˌfɪʃ)
 
n , pl -fish, -fishes
any of various chiefly American minnow-like cyprinodont fishes of the genus Fundulus and related genera, of fresh and brackish waters: used as aquarium fishes, to control mosquitoes, and as anglers' bait
 
[C19: see kill², fish]

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Example sentences
When frightened, killifish will sometimes dive into the soft bottom to escape.
The banded killifish favors slow moving streams and tidal areas.
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