One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fish of the African freshwater family Polypteridae, having an elongated body with hard, rhombic, ganoid scales, a dorsal fin composed of a series of spines each with a finlet attached, and primitive lungs enabling it to breathe air.
Of, relating to, or characteristic of the family Polypteridae.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Century Dictionary. From scientific Latin Polypterus Polypterus + -id, after Polypteridae, family name.
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