lamprey eel


noun, plural lampreys.
any eellike marine or freshwater fish of the order Petromyzoniformes, having a circular, suctorial mouth with horny teeth for boring into the flesh of other fishes to feed on their blood.
Also called lamprey eel, lamper eel.

1250–1300; Middle English lampreye < Anglo-French *lampreie (Old French lamproie) < Late Latin lamprēda; replacing Old English lamprede < Medieval Latin lampreda Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lamprey (ˈlæmprɪ)
See also sea lamprey Also called: lamper eel any eel-like cyclostome vertebrate of the family Petromyzonidae, having a round sucking mouth for clinging to and feeding on the blood of other animals
[C13: from Old French lamproie, from Late Latin lamprēda; origin obscure]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1200, from O.Fr. lampreie, from M.L. lampreda, from L.L. lampetra "lamprey," probably lit. "lick-rock," from L. lambere "to lick" + petra "rock." The animals attach themselves to things with their sucker-like mouths.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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