from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of numerous chiefly marine carnivorous fishes of the class Chondrichthyes (subclass Elasmobranchii), which are sometimes large and voracious and have a streamlined torpedolike body, five to seven gill openings on each side of the head, a large oil-filled liver, a cartilaginous skeleton, and tough skin covered with small toothlike scales.
- n. A person regarded as ruthless, greedy, or dishonest.
- n. A vicious usurer.
- n. Slang A person unusually skilled in a particular activity: a card shark.
- transitive v. Archaic To obtain by deceitful means.
- intransitive v. To practice or live by fraud and trickery.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A scaleless, predatory fish of the superorder Selachimorpha, with a cartilaginous skeleton and 5 to 7 gill slits on each side of its head.
- n. A sleazy and amoral lawyer; an ambulance chaser.
- n. A relentless and resolute person or group, especially in business.
- n. A very good poker or pool player.
- n. A person who feigns ineptitude to win money from others.
- v. To steal or obtain through fraud.
- v. To play the petty thief; to practice fraud or trickery; to swindle.
- v. To live by shifts and stratagems.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any one of numerous species of elasmobranch fishes of the order Plagiostomi, found in all seas.
- n. A rapacious, artful person; a sharper.
- n. Trickery; fraud; petty rapine.
- transitive v. To pick or gather indiscriminately or covertly.
- intransitive v. To play the petty thief; to practice fraud or trickery; to swindle.
- intransitive v. To live by shifts and stratagems.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A selachian of the subclass Plagiostomi, of an elongate form, with the pectoral fins moderately developed, the branchial apertures lateral, and the mouth inferior (rarely terminal).
- To fish for or catch sharks.
- n. A sharper; a cheat; a greedy, dishonest fellow who eagerly preys upon others; a rapacious swindler.
- n. The sharp practice and petty shifts and stratagems of a swindler or needy adventurer.
- To play the shark or needy adventurer; live by one's wits; depend on or practise the shifts and stratagems of a needy adventurer; swindle: sometimes with an impersonal it: as, to shark for a living.
- To pick up; obtain or get together by sharking: with up or out.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. play the shark; act with trickery
- n. any of numerous elongate mostly marine carnivorous fishes with heterocercal caudal fins and tough skin covered with small toothlike scales
- v. hunt shark
- n. a person who is ruthless and greedy and dishonest
- n. a person who is unusually skilled in certain ways
Origin unknown.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in the 1560s, the word meaning 'scaleless fish' is of uncertain origin: it was apparently brought to England, with a specimen, by John Hawkins. The word may derive from the Yucatec Maya xoc, or it may be an application of the "scoundrel" sense (which derives from the German Schurke ("scoundrel")) to the fish; no explanation is agreed upon. (Wiktionary)
From the German Schurke ("scoundrel"). (Wiktionary)