Definition of monkfish in English:


nounPlural monkfishes

  • 1A bottom-dwelling anglerfish of European waters.

    Lophius piscatorius, family Lophiidae

    • ‘Deep-water species such as the monkfish and the orange roughy are at risk, as it can take decades before a fish is old enough to breed.’
    • ‘An albino monkfish was also landed and while this is rare in itself and even more unique feature of this fish is the fact that it had no eyes.’
    • ‘There was a time when anglers went to Tralee Bay just to catch the true monkfish.’
    • ‘Additionally from Wednesday last Ireland's fishing industry was ordered to stop fishing for monkfish, prawns, white pollack and megrims as the country's quota for the current year had already been reached.’
    • ‘He was head-hunted for the British team from his job trawling for prawns and monkfish in the North Sea.’
  • 2

    • ‘Anglers are wrongly referred to as monkfish by fishmongers, though monkfish are in fact angel sharks.’
    • ‘Mr Flannery told the Marine Times that fish such as the true monkfish or angelshark and some species of rays have been rapidly declining in numbers, in the bay, in recent years.’
  • 3mass noun The monkfish or angel shark as food.

    • ‘For the main course I had the aromatic steamed monkfish with basmati rice, sautéed crisp vegetables and black bean sauce for €30.’
    • ‘There were dozens of steaks, chicken, duck and pork dishes on offer as well as a large seafood selection, which included grilled scallops, monkfish and rainbow trout.’
    • ‘Try the roast monkfish with spiced beurre blanc and aubergine.’
    • ‘I use either monkfish or sea bass for this dish, depending upon which is seasonal and better value on the day.’
    • ‘The menu includes Mediterranean risotto of goat's cheese, sun-blush tomatoes and rocket and Thai monkfish and prawn kebabs marinated in lime and coriander.’


Late 16th century: from monk and fish (from the supposed resemblance of the head of the fish to that of a cowled monk).