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

  • n. Any of various slow-moving, scaleless, sharp-toothed fishes of the family Batrachoididae, having a broad, flattened head and a wide mouth, found in tropical and temperate waters.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.
  • n. The angler.
  • n. A swellfish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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?!

  • 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

  • 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

  • There were needle-nosed garfish pug-nosed toadfish, fanged barracuda, a cavernous-mawed grouper lurking half seen in a grotto, and once a sleek grey nurse shark which seemed to take forever to pass silently beneath them.

    The Thorn Birds

  • But the most strange fish is a small one so like the picture of St. George's dragon as possibly can be, except his legs and wings; and the toadfish which will swell till it be like to burst when it comes into the air.

    The Bounty of the Chesapeake Fishing in Colonial Virginia

  • Houseboat residents on the east coast of the US have fallen victim to another fish that likes to sing to its mates - the toadfish. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph


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