Definition of oldwife in US English:



  • 1Any of a number of deep-bodied edible marine fishes.

    a brightly patterned tropical Atlantic triggerfish (Balistes vetula, family Balistidae)

    a small brightly patterned Australian fish (Enoplosus armatus, the only member of the family Enoplosidae)

    the black sea bream of European Atlantic waters (Spondyliosoma cantharus, family Sparidae)

    • ‘An adult Old Wife is easily recognised by its distinctive shape and colouration.’
    • ‘Large schools of old wives, bullseyes and big trevally, too wily for the fishermen, took refuge here.’
    • ‘Heading up the boulder slope towards Slot Cave to look for a resident school of old wives, we came across a couple of Port Jackson shark egg cases, which reminded me of WWI hand grenades.’
    • ‘Porcupine fish and old wives hover near encrusted piles, while talma poke among the soft corals.’
  • 2

    another term for oldsquaw