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

  • adj. Of or belonging to the order Selachii of elasmobranch fishes that includes the sharks and in some classifications also the rays and skates.
  • n. A member of this order.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Pertaining to the genus Selache, consisting of various sharks; shark-like.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of the Selachii. See Illustration in Appendix.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Resembling or related to a shark of the genus Selache; pertaining to the Selachii, or having their characters; squaloid or raioid; plagiostomous; in the broadest sense, elasmobranchiate. See also cuts under Elasmobranchii, saw-fish, shark, and skate.
  • n. A shark or other plagiostomous fish; any elasmobranch.

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

  • n. any of numerous fishes of the class Chondrichthyes characterized by a cartilaginous skeleton and placoid scales: sharks; rays; skates


Probably from New Latin Selachiī, order name, from Greek selakhios, cartilaginous, from selakhos, cartilaginous fish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From scientific Latin Selachē, from the plural of Ancient Greek σέλαχος ("shark"). (Wiktionary)


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  • "'He may not be very palatable; his appearance cannot recommend him anywhere; but his flesh, like that of most selachians, is reasonably wholesome and nourishing.'"
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 390

    February 23, 2008