Definition of cunner in English:



  • An edible greenish-grey wrasse (fish) which lives along the Atlantic coast of North America.

    • ‘Tautog, sea bass, and cunners share the feeding grounds of mussel beds and other small crustaceans.’
    • ‘Wrasses from the Coris genera are popular aquarium fishes and two species from the Atlantic coast of North America, the cunner and the tautog, are valued as commercial and sport fish.’
    • ‘It may be that the first hook was taken by some other fish, but the cunner got in ahead on the bait.’
    • ‘When you camp by the seaside, you will catch cunners and other fish that need skinning.’
    • ‘Although the cunner lives in the Bay all year, it hibernates in the mud during the winter season.’


Early 17th century: perhaps associated with archaic conder, denoting a lookout who alerts the crew of fishing boats to the direction taken by shoals of herring.