One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A freshwater fish with a broad, heavily scaled head and a long cylindrical body, native to tropical Africa and Asia.
Family Channidae: several genera and species
- ‘The snakehead, a particularly nasty beast of a fish from Asia, is highly aggressive and a voracious predator.’
- ‘Besides figuring out a way to eliminate the snakeheads from the Crofton pond, the group is likely to recommend searching for snakeheads in other freshwater bodies.’
- ‘The snakehead is native to the Yangtze River region of China and is capable of wiping out all the species of one pond and moving on its belly and fins to the next pond.’
- ‘The aquarium industry is already recognized as a source of freshwater invasive species such as the snakehead.’
- ‘Battle against snakeheads in Pine Lake in Wheaton, Md., began in April with temporary removal of native fish before lake drainage (top).’
2A member of a Chinese criminal network chiefly engaged in smuggling illegal immigrants to the West.
- ‘Border police in the eastern coastal province of Fujian have arrested 160 snakeheads in the past five months.’
- ‘Recently, snakeheads have not used large fishing vessels as a means of transporting their cargo, favoring instead small containers that can hold less than 10 people.’
- ‘Once they receive word of the travel arrangements from local snakeheads, migrants gather just prior to departure on one of hundreds of islands off the Fujian coast.’
- ‘They're filthy, they rarely, if ever, have any lifesaving equipment, no life vests, they frequently run out of water and food and migrants are abused by the snakeheads acting as enforcers on these boats.’
- ‘A police spokesman said targeting snakeheads is key to obstructing illegal immigration.’
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