Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An elongated apodal fish of the family Anguillidæ and genus Anguilla, of which there are several species.
  • 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • 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

Etymologies

Middle English ele, from Old English ǣl.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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)

Examples

  • 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).

    James Prosek: 'Eels': The World's Most Mysterious Fish

  • 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:

    24 Hours

  • 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)?

    James Prosek: 'Eels': The World's Most Mysterious Fish

  • 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).

    James Prosek: 'Eels': The World's Most Mysterious Fish

  • 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.

    Sound Politics: Ron Sims actively seeking a lucrative exit?

  • Traces of disinfectant were found in Chinese eel and mackerel last year, further spurring consumer fears.

    Japan's Dumpling Recall

  • "Look at that!" he said as he released the eel from the spear.

    The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

  • 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.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

  • The tent-dwelling eel is to be recognised by his bold and manly air and his free and independent look.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

  • 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.

    [ we passed out in each other's arms, like a drunked fairytale ] on 12.09.02 @ 12:29 am

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Comments

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  • 'And it might have been the Thirties all over again, his cabin jammed, flowers everywhere and the most agreeable urban din, Victoria's man eeling his way through the hubbub with the champagne...'

    - W.M. Spackman, An Armful of Warm Girl

    January 2, 2012


  • I don't mind eels
    Except as meals.
    And the way they feels.

    - Ogden Nash, 'The Eel'.

    April 12, 2009

  • She had to pose for life for all the scholars of art
    She didn’t feel funny, she didn’t feel bad
    Peeling away everything she had
    She had the grace of an eel, sleek and stark
    As the shadows played tricks on the girl in the dark.


    (Sukie in the graveyard, by Belle and Sebastian)

    September 5, 2008

  • Lee in reverse.

    November 3, 2007

  • See ostrich fern for additional interesting eel-based conversation.

    October 21, 2007

  • Because we can stop now if you want.

    February 20, 2007

  • I'm not nervous.

    February 20, 2007

  • "She doesn't get eaten by the eels at this time."

    "What?"

    "The eel doesn't get her...I'm explaining to you because you looked nervous."

    February 20, 2007

  • inconceivable!

    February 20, 2007

  • He's right on top of us!!

    February 20, 2007

  • Probably some local fisherman, out for a pleasure cruise, at night... in eel-infested waters...

    February 19, 2007

  • "Do you know what that sound is, highness? Those are the shrieking eels! If you don't believe me, just wait. They always grow louder when they're about to feed on human flesh! If you swim back now, I promise no harm will come to you. I doubt you'll get such an offer from the eels."

    February 19, 2007