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piranha

[pi-rahn-yuh, -ran- or, often, -rah-nuh, -ran-uh] /pɪˈrɑn yə, -ˈræn- or, often, -ˈrɑ nə, -ˈræn ə/
noun, plural piranhas (especially collectively) piranha.
1.
any of several small South American freshwater fishes of the genus Serrasalmus that eat other fish and sometimes plants but occasionally also attack humans and other large animals that enter the water.
Also called caribe.
Origin of piranha
1865-1870
1865-70; < Portuguese < Tupi
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for piranha

piranha

/pɪˈrɑːnjə/
noun
1.
any of various small freshwater voracious fishes of the genus Serrasalmus and related genera, of tropical America, having strong jaws and sharp teeth: family Characidae (characins)
Word Origin
C19: via Portuguese from Tupi: fish with teeth, from pirá fish + sainha tooth
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 piranha
n.

also pirana, 1869, from Portuguese piranha, from Tupi (Brazil) pira nya, variant of pira'ya, literally "scissors."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
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