Get the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary app Find out more about Oxford American Dictionaries for learners of English Get an Oxford Advanced American Dictionary searchbox for your website Ask Text Checker

Definition of fish noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

Oxford3000

fish

noun
/fɪʃ/ fish pronunciation American
 
plural fish or fisheshelp Fish is the usual plural form. The older form, fishes, can be used to refer to different kinds of fish.1 [countable] a creature that lives in water, breathes through gills, and uses fins and a tail for swimmingThey caught several fish.tropical/marine/freshwater fishshoals (= groups) of fisha fish tank/pondThere are about 30,000 species of fish in the world.The list of endangered species includes nearly 600 fishes.Fish stocks in the North Atlantic are in decline.In the pool she could see little silvery fish darting around. see also flatfish, shellfish2 [uncountable] the flesh of fish eaten as foodfrozen/smoked/fresh fishfish stewThe chef's fish dishes are his specialty.Fish forms the main part of their diet.IDIOMS

be like shooting fish in a barrel

(informal) used to emphasize how easy it is to do somethingWhat do you mean you can't do it? It'll be like shooting fish in a barrel!be like shooting fish in a barrel

a big fish (in a small pond)

an important person (in a small community)
a big fisha big fish in a small pond

a cold fish

a person who seems unfriendly and without strong emotions
a cold fish

a different kettle of fish

(informal) a completely different situation or person from the one previously mentioneda different kettle of fish

drink like a fish

to drink a lot of alcohol regularly
drink like a fish

a fish out of water

a person who feels uncomfortable or awkward because he or she is in surroundings that are not familiar
a fish out of water

have bigger/other fish to fry

to have more important or more interesting things to do
have bigger fish to fryhave other fish to fry

neither fish nor fowl

neither one thing nor another
The hovercraft has always suffered from the fact that it is neither fish nor fowl.neither fish nor fowl

there are plenty of other/more fish in the sea

there are many other people or things that are as good as the one someone has failed to get
there are plenty of other fish in the seathere are plenty of more fish in the sea
Usage notesTopic Collocations: The Living Worldanimalsanimals mate/breed/reproduce/feed (on something)fish/amphibians swim/spawn(= lay eggs)birds fly/migrate/nest/singinsects crawl/fly/bite/stinginsects/bees/locusts swarmbees collect/gather nectar/pollenspiders spin/weave a websnakes/lizards shed their skinsbears/hedgehogs/frogs hibernateinsect larvae grow/develop/pupatean egg/a chick/a larva hatchesattract/find/choose a mateproduce/release eggs/spermlay/fertilize/incubate/hatch eggsinhabit a forest/a reef/the coastmark/enter/defend (a) territorystalk/hunt/capture/catch/kill preyplants and fungitrees/plants grow/bloom/blossom/flowera seed germinates/sproutsleaves/buds/roots/shoots appear/develop/formflower buds swell/opena fungus grows/spreads/colonizes somethingpollinate/fertilize a flower/plantproduce/release/spread/disperse pollen/seeds/sporesproduce/bear fruitdevelop/grow/form roots/shoots/leavesprovide/supply/absorb/extract/release nutrientsperform/increase/reduce photosynthesisbacteria and virusesbacteria/microbes/viruses grow/spread/multiplybacteria/microbes live/thrive in/on somethingbacteria/microbes/viruses evolve/colonize something/cause diseasebacteria break something down/convert something (into something)a virus enters/invades something/the bodya virus mutates/evolves/replicates (itself)be infected with/contaminated with/exposed to a new strain of a virus/drug-resistant bacteriacontain/carry/harbor bacteria/a viruskill/destroy/eliminate harmful/deadly bacteria