Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various chiefly marine fishes of the family Batrachoididae, having a broad flattened head and a wide mouth with sharp teeth, and producing grunting sounds.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A fish of the genus Batrachus, especially B. tan; the oyster-fish or sapo, of the Atlantic coast of the United States from Massachusetts to the West Indies
  • noun A lophioid fish, Lophius piscatorius, so called from its uncouth aspect; the fishing-frog, seadevil, wide-gab, or angler. See cut under angler.
  • noun A swell-fish, as Tetrodon turgidus, the common puffer of the Atlantic coast of the United States, 12 inches long. Also called swell-toad.
  • noun The frog-fish or mouse-fish, Antennarius (or Pterovhrync) histrio.
  • noun In New Zealand, a scarce marine fish of the family Cottidæ, Neophry-nichthys latus. E. E. Marris, Austral English.
  • noun In Australia, Tetraodon hamiltoni and various other species of Tetraodon, of the family Gymnodontes. E. E. Morris, Austral English.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Any marine fish of the genus Batrachus, having a large, thick head and a wide mouth, and bearing some resemblance to a toad. The American species (Batrachus tau) is very common in shallow water. Called also oyster fish, and sapo.
  • noun The angler.
  • noun A swellfish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of the ray-finned fishes of family Batrachoididae, benthic ambush predators.

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

  • noun bottom-dwelling fish having scaleless slimy skin and a broad thick head with a wide mouth

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From toad + fish, by reference to their toadlike appearance.

Examples

  • Mr. Jackson turned to turtles only when a toadfish failed to suit an experiment he'd designed to measure its metabolic rate in the absence of oxygen.

    The Beating Heart Beneath the Shell

  • Tetrodotoxin is a powerful neurotoxin found in the skin, liver, ovary, intestine and muscle of the pufferfish species (globefish, blowfish, balloon fish, toadfish).

    Fish poisonings and envenomations

  • What it is: One of a family of marine or estuarine fish known as Tetraodontidae whichincludesmany familiar species variously called puffers, puffer fish, balloonfish, blowfish, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish and toadfish.

    The Best Stuff on Earth?!

  • It was a reasonably large toadfish, as far as toadfish go, and it was ugly and fearsome and it growled.

    A (true) fish story

  • We called them "sallygrowlers"--we thought toadfish was the official name.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • It was a reasonably large toadfish, as far as toadfish go, and it was ugly and fearsome and it growled.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • We called them "sallygrowlers"--we thought toadfish was the official name.

    A (true) fish story

  • Clams and skates and croakers and jellyfish and fluke and toadfish and anything else with gills surrounded by water are all wild.

    Wild clams

  • Clams and skates and croakers and jellyfish and fluke and toadfish and anything else with gills surrounded by water are all wild.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • " "Nay," declared a dumpy figure with big ears and the frenzied face of a maniacal toadfish, "we must work together to defeat the likes of the late and unlamented Susnam Evyndd, may his pure and noble soul lie corrupted and befouled forever.

    Kingdoms of Light

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