American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various long, snakelike, scaleless marine or freshwater fishes of the order Anguilliformes or Apodes that lack pelvic fins and characteristically migrate from fresh water to salt water to spawn.
- n. Any of several similar fishes, such as the lamprey and electric eel.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An elongated apodal fish of the family Anguillidæ and genus Anguilla, of which there are several species. The body is very long and subcylindrical, covered with discrete minute elliptical scales, chiefly arranged diagonally to the axis and at right angles with one another, but immersed in the skin, and partly concealed by a slippery mucous coat. The head is somewhat depressed, and the lower jaw protuberant. The teeth are slender, conic, and crowded in small bands in both jaws and in a longitudinal band on the vomer. The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are nearly uniform, and completely united into one, the dorsal beginning near the second third of the entire length of the body. The color is generally brownish or blackish, except on the belly, which is whitish or silvery. The females attain a considerably larger size than the males. The sexual organs are minute except in the breeding season, and sexual intercourse takes place in the sea. Young females ascend into fresh water, but the males remain in salt water, and have rarely been seen; and when full-grown the females return to the sea for sexual intercourse and spawning. Eels are of much economic importance, and objects of special fisheries. The common European species is Anguilla anguilla or A. vulgaris; the American is A. rostrata. See Anguilla, Anguillidæ.
- n. Any fish of the order Apodes or Symbranchii, of which there are many families and several hundred species.
- n. Some fish resembling or likened to an eel; an anguilliform fish.
- n. Some small nematoid or threadworm, as of the family Anguillulidæ, found in vinegar, sour paste, etc. See vinegar-eel, and cut under Nematoidea.
- n. Hence— A rope's end; a flogging.
- n. Leptocephalus wilsoni of Australia.
- n. Congromuræna habenata of New Zealand.
- n. Any fish of the order Anguilliformes which are elongated and resemble snakes. There are freshwater and marine species.
- n. The European eel, Anguilla anguilla.
- v. To fish for eels
- v. To move with a sinuous motion like that of an eel
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) An elongated fish of many genera and species. The common eels of Europe and America belong to the genus Anguilla. The electrical eel is a species of Gymnotus. The so called vinegar eel is a minute nematode worm. See conger eel, electric eel, and gymnotus.
- n. voracious snakelike marine or freshwater fishes with smooth slimy usually scaleless skin and having a continuous vertical fin but no ventral fins
- n. the fatty flesh of eel; an elongate fish found in fresh water in Europe and America; large eels are usually smoked or pickled
- From Middle English ele, from Old English ǣl ("eel"), from Proto-Germanic *ēlaz (“eel”). Cognate with West Frisian iel ("eel"), Dutch aal ("eel"), German Aal ("eel"), Swedish and Danish ål ("eel"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English ele, from Old English ǣl. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The New Zealand longfin eel, is one of the most important creatures in the faith of the New Zealand Maori, and one of the longest-lived and largest freshwater fishes in the world (they can grown seven feet long, and have been aged at 104 years).”
“One guy at the check-out of the Supermarket was telling us how eel is considered an “aphrodisiac” in Korea and is good for my husband the way he tried to explain it was hillarious. girlwithhat says:”
“Did you know that eel is never served raw because the blood carries a neurotoxin (a cubic centimeter of which injected into a rabbit causes instant convulsions and death)?”
“The eel is the only fish in the world that spawns in the middle of an ocean but spends its adult lives in rivers, lakes and streams (the opposite of most migratory fishes, like salmon and shad).”
“The lamprey eel is always found fastened at the orifice from which the shad drops her eggs and from there it sucks out the roe while rasping the fish using the blood to wash down the roe in its maw.”
“Traces of disinfectant were found in Chinese eel and mackerel last year, further spurring consumer fears.”
“Look at that!" he said as he released the eel from the spear.”
“An eel is ruled by its oojāk, or chief, and by its dooshmāls, or heads of the different teerehs or branches into which it is divided.”
“The tent-dwelling eel is to be recognised by his bold and manly air and his free and independent look.”
“Fri - stayed at home called eel, jenny and other fun kids i love and miss. i read a few books, ordered another book "on Love" by Alain De Botton, seems really awesome, finished off a bottle of cabernet savigne and a few drinks reading. didn't think about the effects of that until i tried to stand up. then i talked to danielle till i feel asleep at maybe 3 or 4 am. fun times.”
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