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n. pl. killifish or kil·li·fish·es
Any of numerous small fishes of the family Fundulidae and related families of the order Cyprinidontiformes, chiefly inhabiting fresh and brackish waters in warm regions and popular in home aquariums.

[Perhaps kill + fish.]


n, pl -fish or -fishes
(Animals) any of various chiefly American minnow-like cyprinodont fishes of the genus Fundulus and related genera, of fresh and brackish waters: used as aquarium fishes, to control mosquitoes, and as anglers' bait
[C19: see kill2, fish]


(ˈkɪl iˌfɪʃ)

n., pl. (esp. collectively) -fish, (esp. for kinds or species) -fish•es.
1. any small freshwater fish of the family Cyprinodontidae, used as bait and for mosquito control.
2. Also called topminnow. any of several small North American freshwater killifishes, used as bait and for mosquito control.
3. any of several livebearers.
[1805–15, Amer.; killi- (perhaps kill2 + -y2 + fish]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.killifish - small mostly marine warm-water carp-like schooling fisheskillifish - small mostly marine warm-water carp-like schooling fishes; used as bait or aquarium fishes or in mosquito control
cyprinodont - any member of the family Cyprinodontidae
Fundulus heteroclitus, mummichog - silver-and-black killifish of saltwater marshes along the Atlantic coast of the United States
Fundulus majalis, may fish, mayfish, striped killifish - black-barred fish of bays and coastal marshes of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast of the United States
rivulus - found in small streams of tropical America; often kept in aquariums; usually hermaphroditic
American flagfish, flagfish, Jordanella floridae - a fish with a dark-blue back and whitish sides with red stripes; found in swamps and streams of Florida
References in periodicals archive ?
The Killie defence was caught napping as Fleming lined up his free kick from wide on the right.
When the ball came over Britton rose from the middle of a pack of Killie defenders to bullet a header into the net.
Then a piece of magic from McIntyre got Killie back on level terms just before the interval.