Definition of butterfish in US English:


nounPlural butterfishes

  • Any of a number of fishes with oily flesh or slippery skin.

    an Australasian reef fish (family Odacidae), in particular the edible Odax pullus of New Zealand, which has green bones and feeds on kelp

    another term for gunnel

    a deep-bodied edible fish of temperate and tropical seas (family Stromateidae), in particular Peprilus triacanthus of eastern North America

    a tropical freshwater or marine fish that is popular in aquariums (several families, including Scatophagidae)

    • ‘In the rock pools I used a net and caught butterfish.’
    • ‘Here butterfish can be seen feeding on mussels, and cowries are also in evidence.’
    • ‘Ballan wrasse, dragonets, scorpionfish, butterfish and topknots (common and Norwegian) all occur frequently.’
    • ‘The most common here are butterfish, which swim off, snake-like, if disturbed.’
    • ‘It was not until the autofocus hit the mark that I noted the jaws of the scorpionfish trapping the poor butterfish.’