Definition of wels in English:


Pronunciation /vɛls//wɛls/


  • A large freshwater catfish that occurs from central Europe to central Asia. It has been known to reach a length of 5 m and a weight of over 300 kg.

    Silurus glanis, family Siluridae

    Also called sheatfish
    • ‘Though there are some 28 species, ranging in size from 10-inches to a record 16 1/2 foot wels found in Europe and Russia, the most prolific and commercially desirable fish are the channel and blue varieties, most of which are ‘pan size.’’
    • ‘The longest (although not the heaviest) catfish is the wels, but it is an unprepossessing fish of no great merit.’
    • ‘As our only widespread catfish species, the wels is unlikely to be mistaken for any other fish.’
    • ‘There are about 4000 different types of catfish in the world but the best known in Europe, and the most accessible to the UK angler is the wels catfish.’
    • ‘Included amongst these are varieties of carp, barbel, zander and of course for those who are brave enough, the mighty wels catfish.’


Late 19th century: from German Wels.