Definition of bowfin in English:



  • A predatory American freshwater fish with a large blunt head and a long dorsal fin. It is able to survive for long periods out of water.

    • ‘This group included a number of lineages, including relatives of today's gars and bowfins.’
    • ‘They have been suggested to be the sister group of Acipenseriformes + Neopterygii (gars, bowfin, and teleosts) by both morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies.’
    • ‘Some of the fish orders with both fresh and saltwater species are the toadfish order, garpike order, bowfin, sturgeon, herring/anchovy, salmon/trout/pike, catfish, clingfish, stickleback, scorpionfish, and flatfish orders.’
    • ‘A single bowfin (Amia calva; family Amiidae) was also collected at Cross Lake.’
    • ‘The bowfin prefers backwater lakes and rivers and probably came from the LaMoine or Illinois valley.’
    • ‘There are bowfins, longnose and Florida gars, 15 species of sunfish, seven species of catfish, largemouth bass, and Suwannee bass.’


Late 19th century: from bow + fin.