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[stahr-fish] /ˈstɑrˌfɪʃ/
noun, plural (especially collectively) starfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) starfishes.
any echinoderm of the class Asteroidea, having the body radially arranged, usually in the form of a star, with five or more rays or arms radiating from a central disk; asteroid.
Also called sea star.
Origin of starfish
1530-40; star + fish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for starfish
  • If an arm of a starfish is cut off, you will have two starfish after regeneration.
  • It seems to me that the outbreak of crown-of thorns starfish is a natural event.
  • For added fun, put them around one of those starfish conference phones.
  • Rays glide along the sandy bottoms while octopi, starfish, seahorses and crabs cling to the rocks.
  • Among the coral reefs swim brightly colored starfish, gentle whale sharks and endangered green sea turtles.
  • Shells, starfish and driftwood are obvious choices for beach or lake house decor.
  • starfish and sponges can also be seen along the shorelines.
  • Hermit crabs, starfish, small fish and even a small octopus have been spotted in the tide pools.
  • starfish, toadfish, drum fish and sea urchins are fairly common sights.
  • When the tide recedes, check out the tide pools for marine life such as starfish and octopus.
British Dictionary definitions for starfish


noun (pl) -fish, -fishes
any echinoderm of the class Asteroidea, such as Asterias rubens, typically having a flattened body covered with a flexible test and five arms radiating from a central disc
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 starfish

1530s, from star (n.) + fish (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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starfish in Science
Any of various marine echinoderms of the class Asteroidea, having a star-shaped body usually with five arms. The arms have rows of little suckers on the undersides, called tube feet, with which the animal moves around and grasps prey. Many species extrude their stomach onto prey and digest it externally. Starfish can grow new arms if any are lost, and in one species, a whole individual can be regenerated from a single piece of arm. Starfish are related to sea urchins and sea cucumbers.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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