Definition of lamprey in English:

lamprey

noun

  • An eel-like aquatic jawless vertebrate that has a sucker mouth with horny teeth and a rasping tongue. The adult is often parasitic, attaching itself to other fish and sucking their blood.

    • ‘Litman next plans to look for novel immune genes in jawless vertebrates, such as lamprey and hagfish.’
    • ‘Modern adult lampreys measure anywhere from about 6 to 40 inches long.’
    • ‘These conditions support a rich diversity of invertebrate life and important game fisheries, such as brown trout, brook lamprey, salmon, crayfish, and otter.’
    • ‘Sure enough, lampreys are simple vertebrates lacking jaws, teeth and a bony skeleton, whereas sharks are much more complex animals.’
    • ‘Several fish, such as the sea lamprey, Atlantic sturgeon, alewife, Atlantic salmon and American eel live most of their lives in the ocean but enter freshwater to spawn.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French lampreie, from medieval Latin lampreda, probably from Latin lambere ‘to lick’ + petra ‘stone’ (because the lamprey attaches itself to stones by its mouth).

Pronunciation

lamprey

/ˈlampri/