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

  • n. A long, eellike freshwater fish (Electrophorus electricus) of northern South America, having organs capable of producing a powerful electric discharge.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Electrophorus electricus, a species of fish resembling an eel (not related) that is capable of generating powerful electric shocks.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. a South American eel-like fresh-water fish of the genus Gymnotus (G. electricus), from two to five feet in length, capable of giving a violent electric shock. See Gymnotus.

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

  • n. eel-shaped freshwater fish of South America having electric organs in its body


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  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
    Date: 1794
    : a large eel-shaped fish (Electrophorus electricus) of the Orinoco and Amazon basins that is capable of giving a severe shock with its electric organs

    Despite its name it is not an eel at all but rather a knifefish.

    February 10, 2008