Definition of sunfish in US English:



  • 1A large deep-bodied marine fish of warm seas, with tall dorsal and anal fins near the rear of the body and a very short tail.

    Family Molidae: three genera and several species, in particular the very large ocean sunfish (Mola mola), also commonly called mola mola

    Also called mola
    • ‘Sea lions, some sharks, and humans are the main enemies of the ocean sunfish.’
    • ‘We've also seen more sunfish than we usually get,’ he added.’
    • ‘Found in all tropical and temperate oceans, the Mola mola, or giant ocean sunfish, eats mainly jellyfish.’
    • ‘An ocean sunfish, which can weigh up to 1.5 tons, has left the Atlantic for England's west coast, while grey triggerfish are moving from the Bay of Biscay to UK waters.’
    • ‘And there are species you'd be lucky to see elsewhere in the northern Red Sea: honeycomb whiprays, bow-nosed guitar-sharks, ocean sunfish, thread-fin trevallies and so on.’
    • ‘They may be explained, rationally, as giant turtles, giant squid, or the large sunfish or oarfish that bask on the surface of the water.’
    • ‘The 1.2m gallon aquarium counts among its specimens a 440-pound, six-foot sunfish, one of the largest boned fish in the world.’
    • ‘The ocean sunfish are giants of the fish community.’
    • ‘They're Mola mola, or giant ocean sunfish, gentle creatures named for their habit of lying at the ocean surface, appearing to sunbathe.’
    • ‘A 500 kilogram ocean sunfish whose fins had been bitten off by a shark caused a stir in the harbour yesterday when it was seen floating in the channel by people on a dredger at work.’
    • ‘I like all kinds of sashimi but I did have one ridiculous meal after a gig in Japan when they gave us a sunfish head, butterflied, with two eyes staring up at us.’
    • ‘In Alaska's Bering Sea, capelin, herring and other coldwater fish have been in decline, while warmer water creatures like albacore and ocean sunfish have made their appearance.’
    • ‘Covered in sandpapery skin smeared with copious amounts of mucus, the Mola mola, or giant ocean sunfish, grows up to 10 feet long and can weigh over 5,000 pounds.’
    • ‘And the massive, tailless ocean sunfish, another relative, is essentially a huge disk - consisting of head and torso - pushed along by a couple of fins.’
  • 2A nest-building freshwater fish that is native to North America and popular in aquariums, e.g., the pumpkinseed.

    Several genera and species in the family Centrarchidae (the sunfish family). This family also includes sport fish such as the black basses, rock bass, bluegill, and crappies

    • ‘Human beings are simply more aware of it than is the average prairie dog or pumpkinseed sunfish.’
    • ‘Other fish: golden orfes, sunfish, minnows, and mosquito fish, to name a few.’
    • ‘Out back of the house, oak, hemlock and cedar trees crown a path toward a 30-acre lake stocked with largemouth bass, yellow perch, pumpkinseed sunfish, and more.’
    • ‘The example she gives is the bluegill sunfish of North America, where a dominant male will recruit a smaller, feminine male - so-called because he sports female colors - in what looks like a homosexual courtship.’
    • ‘Panfish comprise the black crappie, bluegill, green sunfish, pumpkinseed, rock bass, white crappie, and yellow perch.’
    • ‘Years of experience by hundreds of Ohio pond owners suggest that a pond stocked with bass, bluegills and/or redear sunfish, and channel catfish provides the best fishing and the fewest problems.’
    • ‘My friend told me that my spotted sunfish looks stressed because it seems to be gilling more rapidly than usual.’
    • ‘In some lakes, adult longnose gar may consume large numbers of sunfishes.’
    • ‘Most of the fish collected were small (such as sunfish and minnows), but taxa collected also included redhorse, bass, and bullhead.’
    • ‘Among sunfishes, gobies, and darters, 8 of 122 nests surveyed were probable takeovers.’