Main definitions of fish in English

: fish1fish2

fish1

noun

  • 1A limbless cold-blooded vertebrate animal with gills and fins and living wholly in water.

    ‘the sea is thick with fish’
    • ‘Several other species of marine fishes spawn on beaches, although actual emergence of adults from water is rare.’
    • ‘One species of bacterium sickens cattle, for example, while another attacks frogs, fishes, and other cold-blooded animals.’
    • ‘Juvenile rockfish that reside in kelp beds are often eaten by many fishes and other marine animals.’
    • ‘Comparable studies of fishes and other aquatic vertebrates are scarce, despite a wealth of neontological data.’
    • ‘They feed on small bony fishes, snails, worms, shrimps, clams, abalone, and crabs.’
    • ‘Bald eagles feed primarily on marine mammals and fish and would not be a threat to the foxes.’
    • ‘Among vertebrate classes, fishes exhibit by far the greatest variability in competitive and cooperative behaviors in male reproduction.’
    • ‘Included among these vertebrates are sharks, bony fishes, amphibians, turtles, lizards, crocodiles, and dinosaurs.’
    • ‘Rays and skates primarily feed on molluscs, crustaceans, worms and occasionally smaller fishes.’
    • ‘Discussions of pectoral fin swimming in fishes have largely focused on the benefits of the fins during hovering, slow swimming and maneuvering.’
    • ‘Reefs of brilliantly coloured corals and sponges provide shelter for fish, Crustacea, and other animals.’
    • ‘Many other Queensland creatures - including various species of fishes and mollusks - hold the distinction of being the most venomous of their kind.’
    • ‘All decapod crustaceans and fishes were identified and enumerated, a representative subsample was measured and then all animals were returned to the system.’
    • ‘The diet of Nile perch consists of fishes, insects, crustacea and mollusks.’
    • ‘It seems that they don't know that the first vertebrates were fish.’
    • ‘A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet.’
    • ‘The fish and shellfish in the waters around our coast and inland are the finest in the world, and it's no wonder that everyone else in mainland Europe wants rights to them.’
    • ‘Snakes employ shivering thermogenesis, which acts to warm their eggs, amphipods actively ventilate the brood pouch, and fishes fan to increase water circulation.’
    • ‘Cindy began naming all the fish and those that were her favorites.’
    • ‘E. americanus is a predator that as an adult feeds on large insect larvae, crayfishes and other fishes.’
    1. 1.1 The flesh of fish as food.
      ‘hot crab appetizers stuffed with fish’
      • ‘The flesh of these fish is reddish and has a reputation for being indigestible.’
      • ‘The diet advocates that concentrated carbohydrates like bread and concentrated protein foods like meat and fish should never be eaten at the same time.’
      • ‘It's equally gluggable as an aperitif or with fish and white meat dishes.’
      • ‘Typical meals for urban residents consist of fruits and vegetables, meat or fish, bread, and rice.’
      • ‘For a true taste of Croatian Adriatic cuisine seek out the tiny tavernas where you can eat superb local fish and sea food.’
      • ‘The vitamin is found naturally in foods like fish, milk, eggs and meat, and is also usually included in fortified cereals.’
      • ‘Add a layer of tomatoes, some capers and some fish, add gelatine preparation and put in the fridge for 10 min.’
      • ‘Creatine is something that the body either produces naturally or obtains directly from foods such as fish and meat.’
      • ‘George is now on a special dried food made of oily fish and tapioca, with occasional chicken or turkey as a treat.’
      • ‘I have mentioned this numerous times here, but he doesn't eat fish or seafood.’
      • ‘It's better to stick to lean cuts of red meat, white meat or fish.’
      • ‘You are, however, allowed to eat as much red meat, poultry, fish and fatty foods, like heavy cream, as you want.’
      • ‘To prevent foodborne infection, your child also shouldn't eat raw fish, seafood, meat, or uncooked eggs.’
      • ‘Baking is a great method to cook fish, allowing the flesh to cook evenly and stay moist.’
      • ‘You can experiment with all kinds of sausage, vegetables, cheese dishes, fish and meat.’
      • ‘Cholesterol is made by the liver and also supplied through such foods as meat, fish and dairy products.’
      • ‘Its central ingredients are seasonal produce, whole-grain foods, fish and lean meats.’
      • ‘Danish food includes a wide variety of fish, meat, bread, cheese, and crispbreads.’
      • ‘Consumption of fresh foods - meat, fish and fruit - is above average.’
      • ‘If drinking was to continue after the cooked food had been exhausted, dried meat and fish were served.’
    2. 1.2the Fish" or "Fishes The zodiacal sign or constellation Pisces.
    3. 1.3 Used in names of invertebrate animals living wholly in water, e.g., cuttlefish, shellfish, jellyfish.
    4. 1.4informal [with adjective] A person who is strange in a specified way.
      ‘he is generally thought to be a bit of a cold fish’
      • ‘Their attempt to soften the electorate's impression of her as a scientific cold fish is one of the few amusing spectacles in a grim political landscape.’
      • ‘She has a tendency to use quite clinical language - which masks deep emotions, but can make her look a bit of a cold fish on the page.’
      • ‘Some of this support surely comes from some of the same people who'd considered him something of a cold fish.’
      • ‘And since Kail had many women chasing after him, why would he waste his time on a cold fish?’
      • ‘The husband is a convert, obsessed by apologetics, church history, and doctrine - something of a pious cold fish.’
      • ‘In essence, she's calling her an aloof, cold fish - hardly the most enthusiastic endorsement.’
      • ‘Wayne fought to find the words he would need to say to try and strike up a conversation with the normally cold fish of a boy he had for a friend whom he had only known for just over a day.’
      • ‘This time he's playing a much more sympathetic character, but he's still a cold fish.’
      • ‘It is also important, for your purposes, whether she's a cold fish or just madder than hell at you.’
      • ‘Brand himself is a cold fish and a nervous character, who conceives a murderous hatred for his junior officer.’
      • ‘She seems too sensitive to survive this earth and her cold fish of a husband, and indeed she doesn't.’
      • ‘So what if he had a reputation as a rather cold fish?’
      • ‘If it was all the same guy I shall have to regard him as rather an odd fish.’
      • ‘She's a perfectionist and is analytical about her performances but seems afraid of being perceived as a cold fish.’
      • ‘He is too much of a cold fish to capture our hearts and often seems more sullen than smouldering.’
      • ‘Mack, for such a cold fish, is enthralling, partly because of the shimmer of uncertainty about what is true and what is not.’
      • ‘If German pianists have a reputation for being cold fish, this reputation is belied by playing such as this.’
      • ‘Perhaps every writer of fiction suspects himself or herself to be a cold fish at heart, a mere spectator of other people's joys and passions.’
      • ‘It has also been argued that Robert is just a cold fish and/or that his friends' marital squabbles have scared him off.’
      • ‘I was silent; was it any wonder I was, as Adam termed it, a cold fish?’
    5. 1.5informal A torpedo.

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Catch or try to catch fish, typically by using a net or hook and line.

    ‘he was fishing for bluefish’
    ‘I've told the girls we've gone fishing’
    • ‘I thought this was very strange as we had never gone fishing before or done anything together that involved being outdoors.’
    • ‘The missing man is believed to have gone fishing alone early on Thursday morning.’
    • ‘I am an avid fisherman and have been fishing for salmon all my life: I am now 53.’
    • ‘The effect of byelaw 5 is to impose a regime of mandatory catch and release for salmon fished with rod and line in the early part of the season, up to 16 June.’
    • ‘We'd gone fishing over in Canada a few weeks ago.’
    • ‘For the local fishermen, however, fishing for the snappers is a way of life.’
    • ‘No matter what the size of the reel it is always a good idea to give the line a stretch before fishing.’
    • ‘At uni, I tried my hand at fishing for trout and caught nothing all day except a barrel of derision when I slipped and fell into a river.’
    • ‘He and his girlfriend, Carolina, had gone fishing for the summer, and had turned their cellphone off.’
    • ‘Picking it up her mind wandered to when her won father had gone fishing with her and her brother.’
    • ‘The three pound line is necessary as I am fishing for very big roach in fast flowing water.’
    • ‘If you're fishing for the first two species, why not try fishing with fly gear or lures.’
    • ‘Local fishermen fishing for the local market are not depleting the stocks.’
    • ‘There is no benefit from hanging an entire shrimp off a hook when fishing for coastal panfish.’
    • ‘Apparently the two had gone fishing while she was gone.’
    • ‘Under normal circumstances you would've fixed them on the spot, then gone fishing with him.’
    • ‘Fish of this size have been caught by anglers targeting the chub and also by anglers fishing for the sea trout.’
    • ‘In many northeastem waters, rainbow smelt is taken by dip netters during their spawning runs and is commonly used for bait by anglers fishing for trout and salmon.’
    • ‘It was originally thought the gnomes, four old men with fishing rods, may have gone fishing but it now appears that there may be something fishy about their disappearance.’
    • ‘We've gone fishing and played basketball with some of the other fellows home on leave and not once over these last two weeks have we talked about the ship.’
    go fishing, angle, cast, trawl
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object] Catch or try to catch fish in (a particular body of water)
      ‘they did fish the mountain streams when game grew scarce’
      • ‘Fly fishers in the salt water environment need something entirely different to their freshwater counterpart on the chalk stream, as does the angler who fishes big reservoirs.’
      • ‘You're fishing new water each day, and you get into areas that the big yachts can't reach.’
      • ‘Other stories come from ‘the time before this time,’ when the Hinchinbrook waters were fished differently.’
      • ‘The people of India have always lived along the coast, and have always fished the waters.’
      • ‘A friend of mine who fishes a very easy water has in the past few weeks landed 98 carp.’
      • ‘Jack fished some fast water just upstream of Redscar wood known as Duck Island.’
      • ‘The answer of course is that these waters are lucrative and these countries have fished their own waters to the levels where they have insufficient stocks.’
      • ‘Through a gap in the branches, only the most meagre stretch of water could be fished before the fly dragged hopelessly across the surface.’
      • ‘Maybe because these waters haven't been fished by people too much.’
      • ‘A stone's throw from a mosaic pike, two lads fished the muddy waters.’
      • ‘Mr Murray, who regularly fishes this stretch of water, added: ‘Our hard work helped to reduce the impact on the canal and to restore it to its former quality.’’
      • ‘He spent several months fishing Belizean waters, but never was able to come ashore.’
      • ‘Now, the final nail in the coffin, drastic cuts in the number of days our few remaining fishermen are allowed to fish our own waters.’
      • ‘If you are found to be fishing club waters without a current paid up member-ship you are not insured and maybe asked to leave or could face action from the club.’
      • ‘Next week I return to England and look at a water that had not been fished for 20 years and was full of massive tench.’
    2. 1.2 Search, typically by groping or feeling for something concealed.
      ‘he fished for his registration certificate and held it up to the policeman's flashlight’
      • ‘She pulled out a little notepad from her pocket and fished out a pen.’
      • ‘She fished out four quarters from her purse and handed in to the girl.’
      • ‘He had fished out a fifty dollar bill, plus four quarters, one dime, and a nickel.’
      • ‘Jules took the hint and fished out a crumpled ten-euro note from her purse.’
      • ‘In response, I fished for my tiny silver cell phone and flipped it open.’
      • ‘Dejectedly, everyone fished out their keys and laid them silently in front of the headmaster.’
      • ‘He reached into his pocket and fished out his wallet to pay Collin.’
      • ‘He reached inside his pocket, fished out another cigarette and lit it.’
      • ‘I fished out a ten dollar bill and handed it to her, grabbing my bag and following her to the cash register.’
      • ‘Finally, I reached into the compartment of the case, and fished out a reed.’
      • ‘He pulled on his jacket and fished the keys out of his pocket.’
      • ‘Leaping over the king size bed, Roy fished the grenade out of his jacket and pulled the pin, holding the timing clip down.’
      • ‘He pulled out his wallet and fished out a five-dollar bill for his tab.’
      • ‘She watched as Lily broke eggs into a bowl and fished out pieces of shell with her fingers.’
      • ‘Then he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet, fishing a business card out of it.’
      • ‘After a short spell of silence, I reached back into the van and fished out a bulky wooden box covered in black and white square.’
      • ‘The Irishman reached back and fished out the folder, placing it on his lap as he deposited the coffee mug in its place.’
      • ‘Nicole put her hand in her plaid skirt and fished out a set of keys.’
      • ‘Carly rummaged around in the cooler, and fished out a six-pack of soda.’
      • ‘She grabbed her bag, fished out her wallet, and pulled out a credit card.’
      search, delve, look, hunt, cast about, cast around, cast round
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Try subtly or deviously to elicit a response or some information from someone.
      ‘I was not fishing for compliments’
      • ‘I'm not fishing for compliments or anything, but two people have recently asked me when I'll post another story.’
      • ‘He says he's not a singer and is going to quit the show, clearly fishing for compliments.’
      • ‘Personally, if I have time, I like to fish for as much information as possible.’
      • ‘When she wasn't fishing for compliments she was sitting in front of one of the televisions and indulging in a rather large glass of sherry.’
      • ‘Did he really know, or was he fishing for information?’
      • ‘The first time I got naked with this guy I was dating, I went fishing for compliments and made a comment about a totally insignificant part of my body.’
      • ‘During lunch she kept fishing for compliments, which I gave her.’
      • ‘Choosing to ignore the question - I didn't want to start fishing for compliments - I kept walking along.’
      • ‘Joss, meanwhile, is just blatantly fishing for compliments.’
      • ‘All the same, investors will keep fishing for information.’
      • ‘‘I always knew that,’ I said, since it seemed like the response she was fishing for.’
      • ‘An important skill in cold reading is the ability to get information without obviously fishing for it.’
      • ‘As he tried to do with reporters, he was always fishing for information.’
      • ‘You don't bother to say that you aren't fishing for compliments, that you really do mean it.’
      • ‘She was fishing for information, and Elise immediately recognized it, wisely keeping her mouth shut.’
      • ‘Though they tried to appear sympathetic to the cases of detention, the CID was evidently fishing for information to discredit the articles.’
      • ‘I was going to ask him what he'd liked best, but though it would probably look like I was fishing for compliments, so let it drop.’
      • ‘I fished for an adequate response.’
      • ‘Every one was helpful and eager to practice their English, proud of their country, if not their politicians, always fishing for compliments.’
      • ‘There was silence for a moment; she obviously was fishing for a response.’
      try to get, seek to obtain, solicit
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4fish something out[with object] Pull or take something out of water or a container.
      ‘the body of a woman had been fished out of the river’
      • ‘One day, Joe and Les fish the body of a girl out of the water.’
      • ‘You've probably heard that an infant was fished out of the river earlier in the week.’
      • ‘Just talk to paramedic rescue operators who pull people off mountain cliffs and fish them out of 40-foot swells at sea.’
      • ‘I'm kneeling by the end of this pool, with my hands in the water, trying to grab hold of this monster to fish it out of there.’
      • ‘Richard and volunteers spent two frantic evenings running up and down the road helping newts, toads and frogs cross the road, fishing them out of drains and covering up the grids.’
      • ‘By the time help arrived, most of the parents had fished their children out of the blackened water.’
      • ‘He said bikes had been fished out of the river before, but never a barrow.’
      • ‘Elsewhere, you might expect a few worms would be fished out of the pool with a net and life would go on.’
      • ‘He dropped the rag into the steaming water, then fished it out with a scrub brush.’
      • ‘Directed by the helicopter, nine people were fished out of the water and they told the rescue team that the boat had been taken over by terrorists.’
      • ‘I fished the phone out of the water, and also my camera, and waded to the shore.’
      • ‘Sailors on board ships can then fish the swimmer out of the water.’
      • ‘Horrified boat tour tourists faithfully fished his broken body from the water below.’
      • ‘They arranged for some support ahead of time, but it seems like they sat there while the local police and rescue workers were left on their own to fish people out of the water.’
      • ‘They will be accompanied at all times by highly experienced distance swimmers and a rescue boat to fish them out if they get into difficulties.’
      • ‘When the corpses of two Chinese fishermen were fished out of the sea in the Falklands' territorial waters last February, a forensic pathologist had to be flown in from London.’
      • ‘A handful of shivering Albanians are fished out of the Adriatic, distressed beyond belief, hoping desperately for signs of missing relatives.’
      • ‘Brian yelped with surprise and turned to fish his girlfriend out of the water.’
      pull out, haul out, take out, bring out
      remove, extricate, extract, retrieve
      rescue from, save from
      View synonyms

Usage

The normal plural of fish is fish (a shoal of fish; he caught two huge fish). The older form fishes is still used, but almost exclusively when referring to different kinds of fish (freshwater fishes of the Great Lakes)

Phrases

  • a big fish

    • An important or influential person.

      ‘he became a big fish in the world of politics’
      • ‘He enjoys being a big fish, playing with the politicians who make a difference.’
      • ‘Now, to the leak investigation that threatens to engulf a very big fish at the White House.’
      • ‘The trail saw big fish rubbing shoulders with young designers.’
      • ‘Although the police arrested his manager in Delhi, the big fish escaped to Bangkok.’
      • ‘Perhaps the logic was that the jury pool in Beverly Hills is swimming with so many big fish from the film world that you are bound to net some, so why worry?’
      • ‘And the remaining 2000 cases are moving slowly and no big fish has been arrested.’
      • ‘Only high-spec developments and the best locations attract the big fish who remain.’
      • ‘In many cases, he or she is likely to be eligible to be promoted to the ranks of the big fish.’
      • ‘Of course, there are still lots of former journalists around in Whitehall, but they are no longer the big fish.’
      • ‘He doesn't make a big deal of it, but it comes in handy when you need to reel in the big fish for charity events.’
  • a big fish in a small (or little) pond

    • A person seen as important and influential only within the limited scope of a small organization or group.

      • ‘Or is it that once you arrive, you are suddenly a big fish in a small pond?’
      • ‘Dean will become a big fish in a small pond and I'm sure he would love that.’
      • ‘The customer feels like a big fish in a small pond.’
      • ‘It would have been easy to settle for the high-life in Athens, where he was a big fish in one of football's smaller ponds.’
      • ‘Alone, we'll always be a big fish in a small pond.’
      • ‘Regrettably for them, they seem to have forfeited their chance of becoming more than big fish in a small pond.’
      • ‘Sometimes, for musicians, being a big fish in a small pond is no bad thing.’
      • ‘He is for once, a big fish in a small pond and judging by the size of the grin on his face he's loving it.’
      • ‘I think village schools give people more confidence because you are a big fish in a small pond.’
      • ‘I do think that I had the benefit of being a big fish in a small pond in Scotland, whereas if I'd gone to London, it might have taken me a lot longer to break through.’
  • drink like a fish

    • Drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

      • ‘‘I was drinking like a fish every day and taking a bunch of pills,’ she admits.’
      • ‘I didn't have a drop to drink until I was 18 and then I showed up at college and drank like a fish.’
      • ‘She took the first $200 of her check and drank like a fish, having quit her job with this intended purpose in mind.’
      • ‘He was drinking like a fish, every night, into the wee hours.’
      • ‘Liza was one of those girls who could party until five am, drinking like a fish and when she woke up at seven for work still look like she had a full night's sleep.’
      • ‘I didn't know that you actually had anything in mind other than drinking like a fish.’
      • ‘I was living in London at the time, not feeling on top of the world, but then when you drink like a fish and smoke thirty a day, you don't tend to, do you?’
      • ‘We did not see him much socially, so who told him I drank like a fish I've no idea.’
      • ‘He works like a dog, drinks like a fish, and pops beer caps off with his teeth.’
      • ‘He drinks like a fish, and yet never seems intoxicated.’
  • fish or cut bait

    • informal Stop vacillating and act on something or disengage from it.

      ‘when it comes to flagging brands, companies are being forced to fish or cut bait’
      • ‘‘When Ben decided he wanted to come back, we knew we had to fish or cut bait,’ says Cris.’
      • ‘At some point in a long distance/physical strangers relationship, you realize it's time to fish or cut bait.’
      • ‘After more than two and a half years of studying ocean ills and opportunities, a blue-ribbon panel of experts says it's time to fish or cut bait.’
      • ‘Since this man loves fishing, he will no doubt understand when you tell him to fish or cut bait, that you are moving with the children and he is welcome to accept a job and join you.’
      • ‘By the second season of any TV show, you usually know if it's going to fish or cut bait.’
  • a fish out of water

    • A person in a completely unsuitable environment or situation.

      • ‘‘I've always been a fish out of water, never accepted,’ he says.’
      • ‘I'll be a fish out of water there, I'm sure, but it will be a view of the community I have not had yet.’
      • ‘She's very much a fish out of water and she's trying to manage a personal life as well as be good at her job.’
      • ‘Lenny is a tender soul, which makes him a fish out of water in his world.’
      • ‘I've felt like a fish out of water, being cut off from the internet.’
      • ‘‘I find acting nerve-racking and I feel like a fish out of water,’ he says.’
      • ‘Just last week he was a fish out of water who had made a disastrous career move that saw his legacy as one of England's greatest ever strikers in tatters at departures.’
      • ‘I might be a fish out of water, but I reckon I've heard them all.’
      • ‘Without the Army, big Stan was a fish out of water.’
      • ‘In the city he is a fish out of water with absolutely no sense of direction.’
  • fished out

    • Depleted of fish.

      ‘the grayling here have hardly been fished out’
      • ‘EU commissioner Mr Fischler said the cuts were essential to ensure species were not fished out of existence.’
      • ‘The herring was fished out by the 1970s.’
      • ‘Cod is virtually fished out, and haddock will follow suit.’
      • ‘Some anglers say sadly that the New Zealand rivers are all fished out.’
      • ‘The exploited species that are fished out in the fishing areas are abundant in marine reserves, as you might expect.’
  • have other (or bigger) fish to fry

    • Have other (or more important) matters to attend to.

      • ‘He's not well liked, but this week, the housemates have bigger fish to fry.’
      • ‘Its an old trick I learned a long time ago, sometime I'll teach you, but right now we have bigger fish to fry.’
      • ‘The CEO obviously felt he had bigger fish to fry as he pursued an ambitious overseas expansion strategy.’
      • ‘They have been ignored by the vast majority of Irish politicians who appear to have bigger fish to fry at home.’
      • ‘So I think we ought to respect this threat and we ought to be very careful, but obviously we still have other fish to fry with the international terrorist network.’
      • ‘But the people exploiting this saga have other fish to fry.’
      • ‘But I think we have to put that anger and rage aside and wait until the appropriate time, because we have bigger fish to fry.’
      • ‘To be honest it's a trivial matter and I have bigger fish to fry.’
      • ‘For quite a number of years now, they've had bigger fish to fry.’
      • ‘If an inner city parent ignores a summons, the police and courts have bigger fish to fry.’
  • like shooting fish in a barrel

    • Extremely easy.

      ‘picking cultivated berries is like shooting fish in a barrel’
      • ‘Signing on new clients was like shooting fish in a barrel.’
      • ‘Picking out this item or that for criticism seems unsportsmanlike, like shooting fish in a barrel.’
      • ‘Riling you up is like shooting fish in a barrel.’
      • ‘With a bit of luck it will be like shooting fish in a barrel.’
      • ‘Since then, every TV critic has savaged it, although it's like shooting fish in a barrel.’
      • ‘Teenagers are too easy to make fun of - it's like shooting fish in a barrel, so why bother?’
      • ‘And I agree with Jim, it's like shooting fish in a barrel.’
      • ‘But criticising these guys is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel.’
      • ‘It's a bit like shooting fish in a barrel otherwise.’
      • ‘He says catching speeders these days is like shooting fish in a barrel - a sure revenue generator.’
  • neither fish nor fowl (nor good red herring)

    • Of indefinite character and difficult to identify or classify.

      • ‘Those suggestions are neither here nor there, neither fish nor fowl.’
      • ‘The Tory peer, said: ‘The whole system has to be looked at afresh because at present it is neither fish nor fowl.’’
      • ‘The main reason for that is that they are neither fish nor fowl.’
      • ‘Sixty-two is a strange age to be, neither fish nor fowl, nor good red herring, it seems to me but I'm glad to discover that I'm not too old to be thrilled at the prospect of a nice birthday present.’
      • ‘I will consider each of the complaints in some detail, one by one, but the fundamental difficulty is that the Defendant's case from a legal point of view is neither fish nor fowl.’
      • ‘Everybody said when we started out that you can't do this, you won't make a success of it, you're neither fish nor fowl.’
      • ‘Here's a work that is obscure only because it is neither fish nor fowl; it is not quite a concerto, yet at twelve minutes, it is too long to be an encore.’
      • ‘‘Now they are neither fish nor fowl and fewer students are taking them’, he said.’
      • ‘Creative nonfiction, however, is neither fish nor fowl.’
      • ‘Trying to satisfy all constituents, it has usually come down right in the middle - not a good place to be, neither fish nor fowl.’
      ambiguous, doubtful, unclear, uncertain, indistinct, indefinite, indeterminate, open to question, debatable
      mixed, neither one thing nor the other
      View synonyms
  • there are plenty more fish in the sea

    • Used to console someone whose romantic relationship has ended by pointing out that there are many other people with whom they may have a successful relationship in the future.

      • ‘‘Oh and I suppose you will tell me next that there are plenty more fish in the sea’ yelled Giles.’
      • ‘Because if a relationship doesn't work out, they know there are plenty more fish in the sea.’
      • ‘How many more times do we have to remind you of this, he is just using you and there are plenty more fish in the sea, then you will see what love really is!’

Origin

Old English fisc (as a noun denoting any animal living exclusively in water), fiscian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vis, vissen and German Fisch, fischen.

Pronunciation:

fish

/fiSH/

Main definitions of fish in English

: fish1fish2

fish2

noun

  • A flat plate of metal, wood, or another material that is fixed on a beam or across a joint in order to give additional strength, especially on a ship's damaged mast or spar as a temporary repair.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1 Mend or strengthen (a beam, joint, mast, etc.) with a fish.

    1. 1.1 Join (rails in a railroad track) with a fishplate.

Origin

Early 16th century: probably from French fiche, from ficher to fix based on Latin figere.

Pronunciation:

fish

/fiSH/