Definition of moray in US English:

moray

(also moray eel)

noun

  • A mainly nocturnal eel-like predatory fish of warm seas, that typically hides in crevices with just the head protruding.

    Family Muraenidae: several genera and numerous species, including the spotted moray (Gymnothorax moringa) of the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern US Atlantic coast, and Muraena helena of the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean

    • ‘Parrotfish, morays and groupers swim in these seas, and divers can swim alongside.’
    • ‘Little marine life has been attracted to the wreck, apart from the odd moray eel and scorpionfish and a shoal of cardinalfish buzzing around the cockpit.’
    • ‘All the familiar reef fish are there plus morays, sting rays, you name it.’
    • ‘This was typical Red Sea diving, rich with corals and sponges and teeming with fish, one coral head housing a couple of morays that had been there for more than 11 years.’
    • ‘A night dive on the house reef revealed spiny lobsters and red crabs, morays, scorpionfish and lionfish.’
    • ‘The morays are fed regularly and come right into the open.’
    • ‘Divers with torches may be fortunate enough to cast their lights onto morays under rocky overhangs.’
    • ‘Other tanks in the exhibition will house a variety of eels, from razor-toother morays to a colony of distinctive garden eels, which anchor themselves in burrows with the tops of their tails and stand vertically like strands of seaweed.’
    • ‘Below the wall was a flat plain where we saw kingfish, a large moray eel and a shoal of tuna.’
    • ‘There are many eels, particularly on the more broken wreck, and morays and congers live in holes almost next door to each other.’
    • ‘No sea cows or bovines here, but we spotted puffer fish and a giant moray and plenty of groupers.’
    • ‘Most morays are thought to be nocturnal but some are known to hunt during the day.’
    • ‘The rocky reefs and the small caverns formed within them are home to groupers, moray and conger eels, scorpionfish, many octopuses and the occasional spiny lobster.’
    • ‘They seek shelter at night in crevices hiding from predators such as moray eel and various sharks.’
    • ‘Scientists have observed a dolphin trying to get a reluctant moray eel to come out of its crevice by poking it with the spiny body of a dead scorpionfish.’
    • ‘Gullies in the reefs were home to morays, lobster and the occasional crab.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from Portuguese moréia, via Latin from Greek muraina.

Pronunciation