(plural fish or fishes)
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English fisc; akin to Old High German fisc fish, Latin piscis
Date: before 12th century
a. an aquatic animal — usually used in combination <starfish> <cuttlefish> b. any of numerous cold-blooded strictly aquatic craniate vertebrates that include the bony fishes and usually the cartilaginous and jawless fishes and that have typically an elongated somewhat spindle-shaped body terminating in a broad caudal fin, limbs in the form of fins when present at all, and a 2-chambered heart by which blood is sent through thoracic gills to be oxygenated 2. the flesh of fish used as food 3. a. a person who is caught or is wanted (as in a criminal investigation) b. fellow, person <an odd fish> c. sucker 5a 4. something that resembles a fish: as a. plural, capitalized Pisces 1; also Pisces 2a b. torpedo 2b • fishless adjective • fishlike adjective II. verb Date: before 12th century intransitive verb 1. to attempt to catch fish 2. to seek something by roundabout means <fishing for a compliment> 3. a. to search for something underwater <fish for pearls> b. to engage in a search by groping or feeling <fishing around in her purse for her keys> transitive verb 1. a. to try to catch fish in b. to fish with ; use (as a boat, net, or bait) in fishing 2. a. to go fishing for <fish salmon> b. to pull or draw as if fishing <fished the ball from under the car> <fish wires through a conduit> • fishability noun • fishable adjective
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.