Definition of cichlid in US English:



  • A freshwater fish of a family (Cichlidae) that is widely distributed in tropical countries. Cichlids provide a valuable source of food in some areas, and many are popular in aquariums.

    • ‘Many feeding behaviors found in cichlids are unique among freshwater fishes.’
    • ‘Tilapia cichlids can establish a strong population in a very short time span if the conditions are right.’
    • ‘The cichlids have evolved an astonishing array of forms in Africa.’
    • ‘Blue acara cichlids and guppies were obtained from a local aquarium fish supplier and were therefore of unknown origin.’
    • ‘German researchers have studied cichlids living in tiny volcano-crater lakes in Cameroon, West Africa.’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin Cichlidae (plural), from Greek kikhlē, denoting a kind of fish.