Definitions

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

  • n. A large marine food and game fish (Xiphias gladius) having a long swordlike extension of the upper jaw that is used chiefly as a means of defense and attack.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large marine fish with a long, pointed bill, Xiphias gladius.
  • v. To fish for swordfish.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. A very large oceanic fish (Xiphias gladius), the only representative of the family Xiphiidæ. It is highly valued as a food fish. The bones of the upper jaw are consolidated, and form a long, rigid, swordlike beak; the dorsal fin is high and without distinct spines; the ventral fins are absent. The adult is destitute of teeth. It becomes sixteen feet or more long.
  • n. The gar pike.
  • n. The cutlass fish.
  • n. A southern constellation. See Dorado, 1.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A common name of various fishes.
  • n. [capitalized] In astronomy, a southern constellation, Dorado.

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

  • n. large toothless marine food fish with a long swordlike upper jaw; not completely cold-blooded i.e. they are able to warm their brains and eyes: worldwide in warm waters but feed on cold ocean floor coming to surface at night
  • n. flesh of swordfish usually served as steaks

Etymologies

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  • "Grand Banks swordfish spawn in the Caribbean and then edge northward during the summer months, heading for the cold, protein-rich waters off Newfoundland."
    Additional info on menhaden.

    "Although all manner of fish feed on larval swordfish, only mako, sperm whale, and killer whale attack them when they're fully grown. Mature swordfish are considered to be one of the most dangerous game fish in the world and have been known to fight nonstop for three or four hours. They have sunk small boats in their struggles."
    —Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm, 1997 (NY: HarperCollins, 1999), 51

    August 17, 2009