Lamprey
Lamprey Lam"prey (l[a^]m"pr[y^]), n.; pl. {Lampreys} (l[a^]m"pr[i^]z). [OE. lampreie, F. lamproie, LL. lampreda, lampetra, from L. lambere to lick + petra rock, stone. The lampreys are so called because they attach themselves with their circular mouths to rocks and stones, whence they are also called {rocksuckers}. See {Lap} to drink, {Petrify}.] (Zo["o]l.) An eel-like marsipobranch of the genus {Petromyzon}, and allied genera; called also {lamprey eel} and {lamper eel}. The lampreys have a round, sucking mouth, without jaws, but set with numerous minute teeth, and one to three larger teeth on the palate (see Illust. of {Cyclostomi}). There are seven small branchial openings on each side. [Written also {lamprel}, and {lampron}.] [1913 Webster]

Note: The common or sea lamprey of America and Europe ({Petromyzon marinus}), which in spring ascends rivers to spawn, is considered excellent food by many, and is sold as a market fish in some localities. The smaller river lampreys mostly belong to the genus {Ammoc[oe]les}, or {Lampetra}, as {Ammoc[oe]les fluviatilis}, of Europe, and {Ammoc[oe]les [ae]pypterus} of America. All lampreys attach themselves to other fishes, as parasites, by means of the suckerlike mouth. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lamprey — c.1300 (c.1200 as a surname?), from O.Fr. lamproie, from M.L. lampreda, from L.L. lampetra lamprey, of uncertain origin, usually explained as lit. lick rock, from L. lambere to lick (see LAP (Cf. lap) (v.1)) + petra rock. The animals attach… …   Etymology dictionary

  • lamprey — ► NOUN (pl. lampreys) ▪ an eel like jawless fish that has a sucker mouth with horny teeth and a rasping tongue. ORIGIN Latin lampreda, probably from lambere to lick + petra stone (because the lamprey attaches itself to stones by its mouth) …   English terms dictionary

  • lamprey — the eel like fish, has the plural form lampreys …   Modern English usage

  • lamprey — [lam′prē] n. pl. lampreys [ME lampreie < OFr < ML lampreda] any of an order (Petromyzoniformes) of jawless fishes with a funnel shaped, sucking mouth surrounded by rasping teeth with which it bores into the flesh of other fishes to suck… …   English World dictionary

  • Lamprey — Taxobox name = Lamprey image width = 250px image caption = Sea lamprey from Sweden regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Cephalaspidomorphi unranked ordo = Hyperoartia ordo = Petromyzontiformes familia = Petromyzontidae subdivision ranks …   Wikipedia

  • lamprey — /lam pree/, n., pl. 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,… …   Universalium

  • Lamprey — Recorded as Lampray and Lamprey, this is given as being an English and Devonian surname. It is apparently locational and nothing whatsoever to do with a fish called the Lamprey. This was famous (and popular) for causing the death of King John of… …   Surnames reference

  • lamprey — [12] The words lamprey and limpet [OE] come from the same source: medieval Latin lamprēda. This was an alteration of an earlier, 5th century lampetra, which has been plausibly explained as literally ‘stone licker’ (from Latin lambēre ‘lick’,… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • lamprey — [12] The words lamprey and limpet [OE] come from the same source: medieval Latin lamprēda. This was an alteration of an earlier, 5th century lampetra, which has been plausibly explained as literally ‘stone licker’ (from Latin lambēre ‘lick’,… …   Word origins

  • lamprey — noun (plural lampreys) Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French lampreie, from Medieval Latin lampreda Date: 14th century any of a family (Petromyzontidae) of eel shaped freshwater or anadromous jawless fishes that include those cyclostomes… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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