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[suhn-fish] /ˈsʌnˌfɪʃ/
noun, plural (especially collectively) sunfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) sunfishes.
the ocean sunfish, Mola mola.
any of various other fishes of the family Molidae.
any of several small, brightly colored, spiny-rayed freshwater fishes of the genus Lepomis, of North America, having a deep, compressed body.
Origin of sunfish
1620-30; sun + fish Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sunfish
Historical Examples
  • The spirits of trout and salmon and bass and walleye and sunfish and pike, all the fish of lakes and streams that fed his people.

    Shaman Robert Shea
  • These ponds were full of sunfish, and other fish, some of which we caught.

  • The under side of the sunfish is paler, and most fishes have the belly white.

  • I used to love to watch the sunfish leap, they are so round and glistening and awkward.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • I shall lose my temper soon with this fellow,' said the King Fish; 'here, sunfish, take hold of his line.'

    Fort Amity Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • He talked about swordfish as carelessly as he used to talk about sunfish.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • Bud stood beside sunfish, wondering if he had been a fool to trust Jerry.

    Cow-Country B. M. Bower
  • In half an hour they caught a beautiful string of sunfish and chubs.

    Canoe Boys and Campfires William Murray Graydon
  • He faced them defiantly, his hand on sunfish's thin, straggling mane.

    Cow-Country B. M. Bower
  • I have a sunfish in the basin now, but I don't expect it will ever get so tame.

British Dictionary definitions for sunfish


noun (pl) -fish, -fishes
any large plectognath fish of the family Molidae, of temperate and tropical seas, esp Mola mola, which has a large rounded compressed body, long pointed dorsal and anal fins, and a fringelike tail fin
any of various small predatory North American freshwater percoid fishes of the family Centrarchidae, typically having a compressed brightly coloured body
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 sunfish

1620s, from sun (n.) + fish (n.). Used of various species, with reference to round shape or brilliant appearance. Short form sunny is attested from 1835.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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